Some Politics and The Alex and Ronni Show

Do you Nap?

The first infusion of my new chemo regimen that began early this year left me bone-weary and exhausted. I slept pretty much around the clock and finally felt well enough to get out of bed for a short while on the third day.

Three-plus days out of 14 (the time between infusions) seemed unreasonable then but even though chemotherapy is known to be cumulative (the side effects get worse over time), I was willing to give it another shot.

And lo – it was easier the second time. I was in bed for only part of those three days.

Since then, each infusion has been incrementally lighter (last week's hardly affected me at all) and although I no longer stay in bed all day afterwards, I have adopted napping as a tool to help keep me healthy.

Just this week, AARP published a story about the benefits of napping:

”Research shows that a short snooze can boost brain power, improve your memory as well as your mood (including your ability to shake off daily frustrations), and make you more alert.

“NASA scientists discovered that a 26-minute nap improved pilot performance by a whopping 34 percent — and companies such as Google, Samsung, Procter & Gamble, and Ben & Jerry’s not only allow but actually encourage employees to take snooze breaks.”

Further, 36 percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 are not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night:

”'As we get older, it can become harder to get enough quality sleep at night,' says Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.”

That doesn't mean people older than 64 aren't sleeping enough too, it's just that AARP doesn't always include them. (Shame)

Now here's an interesting suggestion about napping:

”...if you can down a cup of coffee right before — yes, before — your siesta, all the better,” reports AARP. “A Japanese study found that doing so can amplify the benefits of a nap, helping you feel more alert and refreshed when you wake up.

“Caffeine usually takes about a half-hour to really kick in — which, coincidentally, 'is about how long your nap should be,' Grandner says.”

WebMD appears to disagree:

”If you’re feeling tired but have work or studying to get done, you may be better off taking a nap than sipping a coffee. Compared to caffeine, napping can bring better memory and learning.”

WebMD has a list of nap benefits. Napping can

Improve your memory
Lift your mood
Ease stress
Make you more creative
Help you sleep better at night

Further, WebMD tells us that

”To get the most benefits out of a nap, you need to time it right. Most people will find an afternoon snooze to be the most natural and helpful. Some say sleep is better between 2 and 3 p.m., when humans naturally have a dip in alertness.”

You can see the entire WebMD slide show of napping benefits here.

I've never been a napping kind of person until this cancer happened. I've slowed down during these two years (just about everything takes longer than before) and sometimes I just want to lie down for a few minutes. Although I rarely sleep, I feel more alert after 30 minutes.

Over the past decade or so, napping – not to mention a normal, eight-hour workday - got a bad reputation. The “cool kids” made it a fetish to work 12, 14, 15 and more hours a day and it is only in the past year or two that there have been enough reports about the detrimental effects of too little sleep that some people are beginning to take note.

Because I've been so lucky with few side effects from my chemotherapy, I'll probably not nap every day – it's not been a habit with me. But nowadays, I use it when needed and it helps a lot.

What about you? And if you nap, did that change as you've grown older?


Luckily, for the most part I sleep well, and so don't nap. But after that rare night of tossing and turning, I feel truly terrible and have to nap, which does help. My wife and I joke: she can go without sleep, but not without food; I can go without food, but not without sleep. Go figure ...

I love naps! I often do some physical work in the a.m, be it gardening, working out at the Y, taking a long walk and usually find it nearly a necessity to take a nap in the afternoon, and it can at times be quite lengthy, up to 2 hours. I find a nap very restorative, allowing for a second wind afterwards. As I've gotten older (nearly 75 now), I find more need to nap and enjoy an afternoon snooze more than the regular nightly one.

It's one of the great joys of retirement: a nap after lunch! Sometimes I might take one before lunch too.

I take the longer sofa (I'm taller), my wife takes the smaller sofa. And we zone out "together"!

I sleep 8-9 hours at night, and fear messing that up if I nap. Also not crazy about having to go through waking up twice a day. I've occasionally tried napping by going to my bed to get comfortable, but then never fall asleep. If I do nod off on a nap, it's on the not-terribly-comfortable couch with the tv going. But first I have to convince my dog to relinquish her half of the couch.

I am 70 and have rarely napped in my life. I have never been someone who could lie down, fall asleep, and wake up within a 30-minute period. On the very few occasions when I have taken a nap; I do not wake up refreshed, and it interferes with my sleep at night.

My former husband could put a sock or handkerchief over his eyes and easily fall asleep - even in his car before a business appointment. After 20-30 minutes, he awoke completely refreshed. I was so envious of his ability to do that. It just doesn't seem to be a part of my DNA. Oh well!

I too enjoy a short nap, especially when on long trips. If I get tired while driving, I'll pull off the road, kick back my seat, and close my eyes. I drop right off and awaken about 30 minutes later, ready to go.

Things aren't as clear-cut at my home, where I'll close my eyes and awaken 2 hours later. This is more complicated these days as my (elderly) dog asks to go out about 4:00 am almost every night, and that definitely interferes with good sleep. So my napping is more desperate than refreshing on those days.

Yes to naps!
I’m finding that I’m awake and alert earlier in the morning than I would ever have expected. So I find that an hour or so in the afternoon really beneficial.
Then most nights I hit the sack around 11pm, and don’t even have to get up to go pee until 6am. But of course I drink most of my fluids during the day limiting myself to one glass of water shortly after dinner.

I have severe acid reflux, so naps have to be coordinated with lunch (my main meal of the day). The advice is to wait 3 hours after a meal to lie down. Since I usually leave the house everyday at 3:30 to pick up my hubby at 4 pm, a late lunch usually means no nap. I also have a couple of cats napping on my bed most days, so often I choose not to hassle with them. :) When I do manage to nap, it's almost always for 30-40 minutes and I feel good afterwards.

Yes, let us hear it for THE NAP or NAPS. They are good for you and me and anyone who wants or needs to take one!!
As James Brown would say, "I Feel Good."

Yes, I nap. I am 82 and try to take a nap every afternoon,upstairs in my room's own. Stretching out. reading and falling asleep for an hour or more refreshes me and allows me to do the many night adventures that I thrive on. The days I am away from home in the afternoon are rarely as healthy for me.

My mother always said I was the only child she knew who liked naps. I'm what I think they call an abrupt state transitioner so sleep/wake is pretty easy and quick. I campaigned for a 20 minute after lunch nap time at work before I retired but since lunch was considered a luxury there, I got no where! Now at almost 76, we all, partner, dogs, and cats, catch a lie down mid-afternoon.

Oh, it appears we're all so different , each from one another. I am one of the fortunate ones who can sleep solidly for 8 hours, no matter what time I turn off evening TV favorites. I do not take anything that could be considered a sleep aid, though I suspect that one of my prescribed meds for a special condition does help me sleep. I would enjoy a nap during the day but I don't trust myself to get comfy and lapse into a sleep.....I fear I'd miss far too many daylight hours (e.g., supper and evening TV) !!

Naps. I never used to take them. Mostly, that was because once I fell asleep, I'd be in a really deep sleep and wake up groggy and irritable. BUT, in the last few months -- since I got my fitbit, which tells me how I slept during the night -- I'm noticing a nap can do me a world of good. And as far as I know, I'm not waking up grumpy. I average 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep a day and have for as long as I can remember. My naps come on those days I didn't get my 7.5. My husband, though, has long been able to take "cat naps;" he wakes up after 10-20 minutes refreshed and ready to go -- just like the researchers said. But then he averages about 5 hours of sleep a night. I like to follow the principle of "if it itches, scratch it." If I'm sleepy, how nice to be able to take a nap. You too.

Yes, I often nap in late afternoon for about 45-50 minutes. That's almost an hour more out of 24 that I don't have to deal with neck and back pain! Hooray for naps.

Appreciate this report, Ronni, as well as your faithful sharing of your experience on this journey. Synchronously, I just attended a program on medical fact finding yesterday presented by a nurse practitioner. She recommended some well respected websites--e.g., MedlinePlus, Healthfinder, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo, etc.--but cautioned about WebMD, since it has various sponsors with skin in the game. Seems the nap information you shared from that source is very reasonable, but my antennae will be up on that site in the future.

So glad you're discovering the benefits of napping. For someone who's been a go-getter all your life, you are certainly learning new tricks!

No, I do not nap unless I fall asleep in my chair. Years ago I tried napping, but I fell into such a deep sleep that I slept for hours and was not refreshed. Then I had trouble sleeping at night.

I hate my bed now for 2 reasons; (1) It's a rented hospital bed and is so narrow I am always trying to move to the edge so I can turn over with room to keep from falling off the other side and when I am lying down (2) RSL starts (restless leg syndrome) so I avoid the bed as long as possible. Just needing to go to bed at night is enough torture for me. As to sleeping on a couch - not possible for me to get up after I am on a low piece of furniture. Who said anything about the joys of being an "ancient"? A pox on their houses.

I vote for naps. Since I retired naps are a positive for me. Even after a 30 minute nap I wake up refreshed!

I'm one of those for whom a nap is more hassle than it's worth.

These days, preparing to lie down at night is a tough balancing act. I can do it, and as long as I remember all the precautions I can (touch wood) sleep comfortably through the night, but if I get anything wrong I pay for it with a bad coughing fit that has ended in vomiting. Getting up in the morning is the same careful process in reverse. I really don't want to go through all of that twice in a day!

Even before going to bed got this complicated, I didn't care for napping. My body always wanted to go out for a full 4-hour sleep cycle; waking up after twenty or thirty minutes only left me groggy.

I do find myself getting drowsy in the afternoon, in my chair in front of my computer. (I've found that raising my shoulders in a slow shrugging motion helps.)

I have I never understood how to take a 20 - 30 minute "power nap". If I fall asleep during the day, I sleep until I wake, usually more than an hour or even two. I have found in the past that I often feel groggy after a long nap, so for many years forced myself to keep moving (like a shark?) no matter how tired. Once I was struck with afib, I couldn't keep from napping, sometimes twice daily.

Now that my afib is finally under control, I am able to lie down in a recliner and rest without falling asleep. I find that putting a bunch of mellow cd's in the stereo helps me relax but stay conscious, so when I'm ready to rise, I feel good and rested rather than groggy (or guilty for 'wasting' so much of my day).

I never napped until the past several years since retirement just before entering my eighth decade. Sleeping at night has been more erratic, so I acquiesce to an afternoon nap when feeling drowsy to get the needed hours of sleep we’re told to have.

Had my mother been asked this question she likely would have reported she didn’t nap. However, when I was with her, most afternoons she would recline in her chair, tip her head back, close her eyes, often eventually emitting a soft snore. When she aroused if I noted she’d been having a nap, she insisted she had not been asleep, but was merely “resting my eyes”.

My husband was a master napper, awakening fully refreshed, all our married life. Not sure at what age he acquired this adaptive skill, but possibly when he was college age, had a parttime day job and a big band, then later a variety of smaller jazz groups along with working full-time as a partner in a business. When we met he was still in his business but performed regularly only as part of a duo and took other selected music accompaniment jobs. I was amazed that he could quickly fall asleep for a short time whether after lunch or dinner, then arouse refreshed and ready to prepare for the rest of his day and/or his evening into wee morning hours.

I try to schedule a nap everyday at the same time. Usually between 1 and 3 in the afternoon. I sit in my favorite recliner, turn the TV on to the most boring film I can find on Netflix and within 10 minutes I'm out. It's not much, but It's something I look forward to.

Ronni, glancing back again at your words of today's date, I quote (TGB)
"I have adopted napping as a tool to help keep me healthy."
Hooray, hooray !!

I never nap—except for the involuntary “naps” that last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes in which I zone out while trying to watch television. It’s not that I don’t like what I’m watching. My body is apparently so sleep-deprived that it takes over from my intentions and knocks me out. When I come to, I wouldn’t be aware that I had been out except that the plot of the movie I was watching seems to have strangely stopped making sense. I only know how long my “nap” was by how many minutes I must rewind to get to back to where I zonked out.

I used to envy my late husband as he could fall asleep at the drop of a hat! He also slept well during the night-- well, he was the one who snored and kept me up poking him! Still, I could never nap during the day as a young person. I will soon be 83 and found about a year ago that if I laid down with a book or the telly on around 2-3 PM I dozed off. I get up to go to the bathroom several times during the night( also up with my dog --who has no problem sleeping anytime of the day or night! ) so a power nap is just right to keep me active during the day. I have learned that perhaps in my youth, I called the shots but now that I have "Matured" my body is in charge.

I've never been a napper, but I have recently deepened my sleep with a weighted blanket. I wake up absolutely relaxed and it's really wonderful.

Do I nap? Rarely, but when I do, I love it.

I nap, unashamedly, unapologetically. I nap. When I was in my forties a friend suggested, "When in doubt, get horizontal." It was decades before I began to apply her advice with any kind of rigor, but the last few years I'm much refreshed by taking a short rest in the afternoon. Too long and it kills the benefit, but up to an hour or so and I'm renewed.

Siesta time for me is 4 PM, and usually relax for a bit, and then sleep until 5 Pm, get up and make dinner. Part of the nap includes thinking of what to put together for dinner, and if I don't I find myself fading during the evening news. I've been doing this for a while, and it really is a good pattern. Nap time is my Happy Time.

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