I need a lot of sleep. If I don’t get at least eight hours in a night, I suffer and slip into the strange grip of hypomania. Suddenly, my emails get a little longer and more rambling. My conversations with co-workers reveal overly personal information about myself. I end up in the middle of conversations, talking far more frequently than I normally do, yet forgetting my point. “I completely forgot what I was about to say,” I’ll add.
One of the things that has kept me out of the hospital since my first hospitalization many years ago, is that I take naps when I get overtired. Sometimes it’s the only way to get back on track.
This week has been exhausting. There was a lot of stress at work, and I didn’t get my requisite eight hours each night. And so, today, unapologetically, I’m going to lay down for a few hours and get the rest I need to keep my mind healthy.
It’s not news that napping is good for us. The research shows it’s true for especially short naps— but I find that I need to nap for longer to get the benefits. And I also find that my main issue is not feeling guilty about doing it. What I think all of us with any mental health issues especially need to remember is that sleep is medicine: this is true for both sleeping at night and curling up under the covers or on the couch in the mid-afternoon.
To reference this adorable photo: no harm in sleeping like a puppy dog.
- Why You Should Take a 10-Minute Nap Every Day (forbes.com)
- Science says naps are truly effective (techi.com)