A Quick Recharge – How a Good Sleep Can Boost Your Wellness - Rose Buddha

A Quick Recharge – How a Good Sleep Can Boost Your Wellness

For some of you, the title of this blog post alone might evoke feelings of panic. 

Take a long, deep breath. This is not a piece shaming you for not reaching your 7 hours of sleep last night. 

Realistically, we will all go through phases of better or worse sleep throughout our lives. 

Kids, anyone? Stressful job, anyone? Life, anyone? 

But honestly, periods of inadequate sleep come and go, and the consistent, deep slumber of our youth might be a mere memory for some of us. 

 So, how do we prioritize sleep? How do we reap the rewards of a good night's rest without the actual time or ability to do so? It's time to revisit…the catnap. If you are reading this somewhere in Canada, you will know that it is not common practice to take part in a midday nap, especially for those of us working a 9-5. Although some lucky few among us do partake in a midday rest, other parts of the world have a greater cultural practice of doing so. This makes sense, especially since our bodies have a natural circadian rhythm, whereby in the afternoon, our body sends us sleep signals, telling us it's time to snooze somewhere around 2-5 pm. 

 Wouldn't that be nice? Perhaps it's not realistic on a daily basis, but finding time to nap even once or twice per week has been shown to help lower the risk of cardiovascular issues, including heart attacks. 

 Benefits of napping

So, it turns out there is a sweet spot for how long you should let your slumber last to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Referred to as a power nap or catnap, a 10-20 minute nap comes with several physical and cognitive benefits: 

  • Better mood
  • Increased memory 
  • Reduced stress

 Allowing yourself to sleep longer than 20-30 minutes can cause you to wake up feeling groggy. That's because you wake in the middle of a deep sleep cycle, making it difficult to feel alert. On the other hand, a 90-minute nap allows you to rest for an entire sleep cycle, at the end of which, your body naturally comes into greater wakefulness, inhibiting the grogginess you might feel if you woke up earlier. 

Still. Isn't it strange how some of us have the innate ability to beckon sleep and, seconds later, drop off into a deep snooze while others lie restlessly awake, eyes closed, and mind spinning until naptime is up? For those in the latter category, what have you tried? Could the answer be to:

Take more magnesium? 

Drink less coffee? 

Do more breath work? 

Consume less sugar? 


Ultimately, it might take a bit of practice to figure out what works for you. Visit your doctor for medical advice if you are suffering from sleep deprivation and need some help navigating short and long-term solutions. 

But if it's a nap you're after or need a little help falling asleep, we recommend the Nothing Much Happens podcast, where you can listen to languid, lovely stories from a small town to help your mind wander into slumber.  You can also visit  Sleepfoundation.org or the Canadian Sleep Society for more information, sleep research, and tips for getting a better rest. 

The best advice we can give? 

Don't stress.

If you can't fall asleep in the allocated time, at least you've given your mind a little pause and a moment to wander, and maybe next time, you'll even catch a few z's. 

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