Monday, November 27, 2017

Allow Yourself To Rest

Being nice to others seems to come easier to most of us than being nice to ourselves. It almost seems like we are being selfish if we do something special for ourselves and share what we did with our friends and family. The truth is exactly the opposite. We can become 'tangry.' It is when being tired and angry at the same time happens. This can occur more often than not when we allow ourselves to be sleep deprived. I am using this word from an article that I read by Lisa Van Gemert, called Bringing Napping Back:  A Kindergarten Perspective.

With my background in education, I truly believe that everything we need to know we learn in kindergarten. At least the basics! The rules of life and getting along with others - emotional intelligence, really. This is where the naps come in. Yes, of course when we are infants, our parents put us down for naps throughout the day and slowly wean us from all but an afternoon nap when it is time for us to go off to kindergarten.

Here is where the tricky part comes in to play. We all have different body clocks, therefore the amount of sleep is a bit different for us all. There is a scientific study that gives us guidelines. Most adults need 8 - 10 hours of sleep in order to function on a high performance and productivity level. Children in kindergarten need 10 - 13 hours of sleep. However, legislators are trying more and more to exclude nap times from the classrooms (and I might also add recess times - a future blog?). 

Common sense would tell most people that pounding away at work, work, work without taking breaks is not the smart way to work. Of course, the old adage, that common sense is not very common comes to my mind. Children, as well as adults, first need to take heed and be sure to get enough sleep. This is most definitely the job of the caretakers at home. If this is not allowed in your school, then perhaps parents and teachers together could collaborate for the good of the cause.

We all have heard that there is not enough time in the day to get everything in that needs to be done, both in school and at our jobs. Over-working ourselves is not the answer. Nap times or rest times are a necessity. Recess or break times are just as much a necessity. For highly stressful jobs, mental health days are needed. 

I must admit that I can still be my own worst enemy when I take that afternoon nap. I can think of all the things that I should have done, could have done or that needed to get done and did not. Then, after closing my eyes, breathing slowly and remembering that the world did not come to an end because I did not work on a certain character in my book or the blog did not get published before noon. The house did not come crashing down because the dishwasher was not emptied, the laundry was not washed, dried, hung up or folded, or Christmas decorations did not get put out and about in the house. 

It is true that as we get older, we may notice that our need for rest becomes stronger in order to function at peak performance. I am able to read my body when I do forget and allow myself to be sleep deprived. I must pay closer attention to how I respond to others around me. They aren't responsible for my lack of sleep. Sometimes, it just helps to come out with the truth, so that they are aware of my needs.

Based on a survey from the Pew Research Center, a non partisan fact tank that informs the public about issues and trends shaping America, one third of U.S. adults nap on a typical day. It was also proven that a nap helped all test subjects to remember things better.

Doubting seriously, that all of corporate America is going to allow employees to take off an hour for a nap each day, there still are some basic things that we can do. If you have an hour lunch and are able to munch smaller meals, pre-lunch and post-lunch, then use your lunch time to go out and doze or close your eyes for a while in your car. (Maybe your place of employment has a 'break room' where this could be done?) Think outside the box. Research Google and how they actually have 'Nap Pods' at work.

"The secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time but your energy," so states Michael Hyatt. He joins forces with many other famous, public figures such as Churchill, Edison, Rockefeller, LBJ, Reagan, Kennedy, daVinci, Dali, Clinton, Einstein, Thatcher and Eleanor Roosevelt, just to name a few.

Most of them had consistent guidelines, in that they took their nap basically at the same time each day, noting that it gave them their second wind, heightened their sensory perception, restored their alertness, prevented burnout and the medical profession added that it also reduced the risk of heart disease.

Have you shifted your thinking on nap-taking yet? I will end with another Michael Hyatt quote: "People who nap are not lazy. They might be some of the smartest and most productive people you know."

No comments:

Post a Comment