by: Melissa A. Kay
I acknowledge that I may be in the minority here, but I hate napping. On the rare occasion that I do take a nap, while pleasant as it may be as I'm unconscious, the after-effects are so disruptive, I remind myself I must be nuts to even considering trying to nap ever again.
Most nappers I know love the opportunity to press the pause button on their day and grab a few zzzs when they ought to be doing something else that requires being awake. These nap-lovers are able to get into bed or onto a comfy sofa or chair, fall asleep almost instantaneously, and wake up not long after feeling refreshed and ready to move on with the rest of their day. How they do this with pleasure is beyond me as I remain awake from sun up to bedtime never even resting my eyes for 30 seconds of peace.
To each their own, and I understand and accept that napping is a joy most other humans relish in, I, for one, believe naps suck. Just don't tell my 18-hour-per-day snoozing cat. Need a good reason why napping is a no no? Heck, I'll give you 4.
Grogginess & crabbiness
When I first awaken from a nap, I am confused and discombobulated. Is it morning already? Did I not hear my alarm go off? Why am I wearing the same clothing as yesterday? Once I get a grip and remember I decided to take a mid-afternoon nap, I feel suddenly crabby and moody. Who wants to get up in this emotional state? Not me. I'm still groggy and the bed seems far more comfortable now than it does when I'm tossing and turning at night.
TheAculeus is in agreement, "The nap is never going to make you feel well-rested for some reason. You wake up and you feel immediately exhausted, you have that morning feeling but (times) 3."
Can't sleep at night
A nap may solve a mid-day bout of exhaustion, but once you've dozed off in the middle of the afternoon, your nighttime sleep may fall out of whack. Does for me anyhow. I find myself lying in bed as the clock ticks into the wee hours of the morning. Being up all night causes me to feel tired the following day, thus tempting me into another nap. The vicious cycle!
The Aculeus concurs, "Your body expects a nap so it becomes hard to readjust to your normal sleep times. So, if you take one nap, expect to be taking a nap at the same time forever." Unless you're a baby, a pre-set daily nap time is not something to be proud of.
Takes too long to fall asleep
I know some people who are avid nappers and seem to have an on-off switch. Their head hits the pillow and it's lights out. This is useful for someone seeking a 30 minute slumber, but not for those who cannot will themselves into falling asleep, like me.
In the off-chance I decide to nap, I lie awake for such a long stretch that I could have been done with my nap already, had I been able to conk out in a timely fashion. This period of limbo makes me even more aggravated with myself that I took another shot at napping.
Increases risk of diabetes and heart disease
Getting more serious about the perils of napping comes news that frequent napping can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease! According to coverage by The Telegraph, "After examining more than 200 studies involved 261,000 participants, they found that severe daytime fatigue was associated with a 56 percent increased risk of developing diabetes. And taking a regular daytime nap for an hour or more was found to increase the risk of developing the condition by 46 percent."
WebMD adds, "Researchers found that long naps and excessive daytime sleepiness were associated with an increased risk for a combination of health problems that are collectively known as metabolic syndrome. And that can boost the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Napping for more than 90 minutes appeared to increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by as much as 50 percent, as did excessive daytime sleepiness. " So if you must nap, keep the time asleep to a minimum.