I loved taking naps. I took a nap every day until I went to first grade. Even though high school, I napped on the weekends. As soon as I got to college, I arranged all my classes so that I could nap in the afternoon. For most of my adult life, I napped when I could.

My father said I napped because I was bored.

Not true. According to Say Good Night to Insomnia, we nap because we were meant to have a midafternoon nap. There is a biological readiness to fall asleep in the midafternoon. Our body temperature drops slightly in the afternoon and it is this drop in temperature that readies our bodies to sleep.

Many cultures routinely include a nap time, especially the closer to the equator you get.  Research on napping suggests that even a 10 minute nap can enhance your alertness, mood and mental performance. One study on napping looked at pilots on long-distance flights. Those who were allowed to take a brief nap in the cockpit were less fatigued, more alert and vigilant and performed better.  In Greece, naps were correlated with a 30% reduction in the incidence of coronary heart disease.

The trick with napping is to limit the time you expend in this activity. If you only spend 45 minutes and don’t take it after 4:00PM, you’ll feel refreshed and it will not interfere with your evening sleep.  In fact, an afternoon nap may put you into a better mood.

Hurray. I am finally vindicated! Where’s my pillow?