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Less Flat White, More Lie Flat

Once seen as a sign of having one foot in the grave, more and more people are starting to catch on to the benefits of afternoon napping.

Zoe Ball recently said she loves a good "Nana Nap", and she’s not the only one. A huge list of celebrities (Kayne West, Taylor Swift, Chris Hemsworth and Katy Perry to name a few) all rave about the magical rejuvenating effects of a little bit of daytime shuteye.

In fact, Americans love napping so much that they’ve even made a National Napping Day for it every March,  recognising the need to catch up on lost zzz’s after daylight saving.

It’s easy to see why. Naps are blimmin’ brilliant.

I’ve recently started having a little Nana Nap every afternoon and can honestly say its done wonders. Maybe it’s age (the dreaded mid-40’s hormones are doing their thing), but I’d been getting really fuzzy headed every day at about 2pm. This wasn’t just tiredness; it was an overwhelming fatigue that engulfed my entire body and made it impossible to concentrate.

Like many people with busy lives I’d tried to brush over it and power through, convincing myself that resting was for wimps. What I hadn’t realised was that powering through actually meant fizzling out.

By 5pm I still hadn’t even made a dent in my to-do list and the quality of my work dropped, on account of the mashed potatoes in my brain. I started trying to make up for the lack of energy by filling my body with chocolate, coffee and energy drinks, but as any nutritionist will tell you, all that will do is cause your sugar levels to spike and send you crashing back down with a bang an hour or so later. Not to mention playing havoc with the waistline.

One day, when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and the words on my computer screen all looked like they were written in a mysterious ancient language, I decided to give in and just sleep.

I made sure the dog and teenager were fed and happy and took to my bed, feeling decadent and more than a little bit guilty, and set the alarm for an hour later. It must have taken twenty minutes or so to drop off, but when I did it was worth it. When the alarm chirped I knew I’d slept well because I woke up with an attractive sheen of dribble on my face, and for the first time in ages I felt truly ALIVE!

That afternoon I polished off two blog posts... No problem! My brain was coming up with amazingly clever ideas and everything I wrote was completely typo free. It was a revelation.

A recent episode of BBC’s ‘Inside the Factory’ was all about the power of a good nap. The programme revealed that around 37% of people say they’re not getting enough sleep, and the effects of sleep deprivation are just as bad as drinking too much. Over-tiredness causes us to have slower reactions and make poor decisions, making it dangerous to drive or perform other everyday tasks. While many of us still reach for multiple cups of coffee instead of retreating to a darkened room for a nap, the effects of a brew only last half an hour or so. A good nap, on the other hand, can keep us firing on all cylinders for the rest of the day.

Turns out loads of historical figures loved a nap too. From Einstein to Dali, Da Vinci to JFK, our world has been built by people who built power naps into their daily schedules. And if Thomas Edision hadn't been a napper, maybe he’d never have had his famous “lightbulb” moment and we’d all still be sitting in the dark.

I now have a Nana Nap every afternoon and don’t feel even the tiniest bit of guilt or shame about it. I’m actually thinking about investing in a long silky gown to waft about in so I can pretend to be a gorgeous siren from an old black and white movie every afternoon. The dribbly face is still a bit of an issue, but we’ll work on that.

The bottom line? Nana is always right. So take her advice and let yourself have a little nap - you might just be amazed by the results.

(Of course, an extra-fluffy, breathable, sustainably-made, snuggly duvet will make your nap even more beneficial 😉)

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