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  • Writer's pictureTom Robinson

To nap or not to nap?

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

A few days ago there was an article I read in The Independent online claiming that Boris Johnson takes a nap every afternoon for anything up to three hours! This claim has since been refuted by Downing Street but it made me want to include a post about sleep and napping to open a discussion.

When I am severely depressed I am asleep for anything up to seventeen hours a day. I am literally crippled by depression and the brain completely shuts down. I have to just surrender to it because trying to battle through is impossible and just exacerbates the anxiety, so it is better to ride the storm, take a complete break from everything and wait for it to pass.

When I start to recover however, the sleep pattern starts to readjust and I notice a reduction in the duration of each sleep cycle. This isn't the end of the story though because I still have issues with sleep even when fully recovered!

My main issue at the moment is that I am still needing to nap in the day even though I am sleeping well at night. I have asked many other people about their need for sleep and it seems to be a very individual need and preference. This has made me think about something a famous psychiatrist, Carl Rogers once noted. He said, "The client is the expert of themselves". The relevance of this quote is that we can only know what is right for us individually. No one else can know what our own personal experience of sleep, rest, brain function and feeling is like, so we must all become EXPERTS OF OURSELVES.

I have decided that there is absolutely no point in trying to be "normal". If I need to nap I am going to nap; I am going to listen to my mind and do what it is asking me do and not attach any shame or guilt to this either!

The article in the Independent was inconclusive, it seems some studies show that napping is beneficial for the brain and body whereas others state the opposite is true! This again makes me think that it may be right for some, and not others, depending on their individual needs and physical make up.

Do you feel the need to nap? Do you feel that you benefit from taking one? Are you a sleeper, a non-sleeper or do you alternate between periods of both?!

Do let me know so that we can start a discussion!


To read the article in The Independent click here

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