Happy National Napping Day, Benjamin Franklin

By Sara Butler

National Napping Day

There are three words that strike fear in the heart of every parent each fall and spring: daylight saving time. I hate it, as anyone raising small humans would. In fact, I’d like to go back in time and give an earful to old Benjamin Franklin since it was his idea in the first place. “Hey Ben, bifocals and swimming fins are the bee’s knees -- as were your ideas about how to start a whole new country -- but let’s stop those creative juices flowing right there.” I imagine leaving my kids with him for a couple of days after “springing forward” would help him to understand.

It just so happens that March 11 is National Napping Day -- the day after you turn your clock forward an hour. What impeccable timing.

The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic know the importance of a good nap. In fact, in honor of National Napping Day, here are a few of the reasons you may want to try to fit a short snooze into your day even beyond March 11.

Recharge Your Batteries

When you’re tired, it’s as if you’re moving in slow motion. Your motor skills are probably less than stellar as is your alertness and brain power. A nap can solve all that!

The National Sleep Foundation reports that the length of your nap actually helps to determine how it benefits you. Snoozing for a brief 20 minutes? That’ll enhance your attention and motor skills. Sawing logs for 60 to 90 minutes? That can help boost your creativity and allow your brain to make new connections. Just make sure to set an alarm to make sure you don’t go over 90 minutes, otherwise, you could wake up groggy and have trouble falling asleep that night.

Zzzap Stress

If you can take quick naps on the regular, then it can help to reduce stress and tension, which can help to reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact, sticking to a regular nap schedule if you can swing it can help you to maximize this benefit. When you nap, shoot for it between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. This is the optimal time frame since it’s after lunch when your energy starts to wane along with your blood sugar. Find a cool, dark room and get to napping.

Give Your Mood a Boost

You know it’s hard to be good-humored the day after you’ve suffered through a sleepless night (shout out to all the parents out there!). A nap can help you smash through that irritability and help you feel as chipper as the world expects you to be. Plus, a nap is much better for you than getting a venti quadruple shot at Starbucks, which may serve you with so much caffeine that you have trouble going to sleep at night, starting the whole vicious cycle over again.

I’ll give Benjamin Franklin a pass on the whole daylight saving thing because he also discovered electricity, but until we stop pretending it’s a good idea, we have to find ways to make it work. In its aftermath this year, I’ll be embracing National Napping Day with gusto -- and you should too!

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