We all have experienced that 3 O’ Clock lull where it feels like time isn’t moving and you just want to fall asleep on your desk or kitchen table! So instead of reaching for that cuppa coffee for the caffeine boost or that bar of chocolate for the sugar rush, why not try something that will benefit your body and your mind. The Power Nap!
Not only does the power nap re energizes your body but it also gives you a chance to de-stress and regroup your thoughts, mentally preparing you for what lies ahead of you for the rest of the day and not allowing stress get the better of you.
The power nap is an important tool of natural healing and is a major contributory factor in helping people enjoy life to the full.
The average person starts the day with a reasonable amount of Qi (life force or energy). This is depleted as the day progresses through work pressures, busy schedules, lack of fresh air or exercise, poor diet or lack of quiet time. Even after a good night’s sleep and a nutritious diet, the Qi is reduced by lunch time. Qi drops further by 2-3pm, especially if lunch is difficult to digest. Some people actually feel sleepy and nod off.
The power nap is an invaluable tool if carried out between 2-6pm, particularly if the evening promises to be demanding!
By learning to switch off mentally and becoming absolutely still physically for 10-15mins, essential energy is built up in the body.
Some of the most common complaints we hear in the clinic are:
‘I am so tired as the day wears on, I have to drag myself around.’
‘By 6pm my energy is zilch, I could not possibly do anything in the evening.’
‘I am not too bad in the morning, but by 7pm, I am on the couch, I can hardly drag myself away from the TV to get ready for bed and even then I do not sleep well.’
Effect of Power Naps:
Body: From a physical point of view, every system benefits. Muscles, joints, nerves, digestive organs, endocrine glands all benefit from perfect rest.
Weakened areas of the body can receive much needed healing from the power of stillness e.g chronic back ache, sore throats, constipation, stress.
Energy seems to increase 30 minutes after the power nap. Instead of struggling through the second part of the day, there is vitality to enjoy and achieve your goals. The remainder of the day is no longer a chore. It can be entered with enthusiasm and positive energy.
A glass of water and piece of fruit is a good idea immediately after the power nap.
Mind: Leaving decisions or worries until later benefits the person greatly. During relaxation, answers and new ideas surface. Following the power nap, there is often a fresh approach to problems.
Spirit: Moving away from activity and practical things and moving towards nature, gives a sense of peace and joy which is carried into the remainder of the day.
How to Power Nap: (Can be adapted for use in offices or if travelling)
- Lie down in a dark and quiet room. Wear an eye shield if necessary.
- Turn off phones and play some relaxing music.
- Elevate legs to a 45 degree angle on a stool/couch end with cushions and lie absolutely still.
- Become aware of your breathing and try to relax each muscle group from head to toe.
Imagine a bright light moving from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.
Picture a huge, peach coloured balloon. Write your problems on it and watch the balloon float away.
Picture yourself in a beautiful place in nature, such as the beach.
Visualise the atmosphere, the sounds, colours and feelings. See yourself walking, feel nature renewing your energy, imagine the warm sunshine on your hair.
If you like, visualise a meeting with Jesus, Our Lady or a special friend, (alive or dead). Walk along the beach together, hand in hand, listen and share your feelings. Have some quiet time and enjoy the silence.
After 10-15mins or longer, get up quietly. Ideally, avoid talking for another 20 minutes. Return gradually to your duties, remaining quiet and peaceful within yourself.