A woman laying on a pillow taking a nap.

Embrace the Nap

Last updated: October 2021

Let’s look back a little, to when we were kids; back when we had to take naps at least once a day. They were forced on us because we didn’t have the stamina to get through an entire day with our small little bodies.

We continued to rest as needed through elementary school but, come middle school, naps were completely wiped from our schedules. Why? We wanted to be cool. Cool people didn’t take naps. Once we got a little used to our hormonal selves in high school (but let’s be real, at what point in our entire lives do we have any control over our hormones??), we had contests who could stay up later and pull the coveted all-nighter in pursuit of finishing our mountains of work. We wish we could take naps but when the heck did we have time??

Does napping mean I'm unmotivated?

If we took a nap, we were embarrassed to admit it. Why? At least for me, and many of the people I went to school with, rest was for the weak. We were meant to keep our schedules full, get everything done, and then some; and make it look as easy as pie. We didn’t need to recharge. We were amazing. We were superheroes and didn’t need sleep.

Napping was necessary for my rheumatoid arthritis

I carried a lot of that thinking to adulthood and, when I was diagnosed, I tried to get through my day without rest; but I found out right quick that I wasn't going to make it. I eventually gave in to the siesta but I couldn’t shake the idea that I was unmotivated, unproductive and just plain lazy.

It took a lot of soul-searching but I finally gave myself a break. I was no longer the average able-bodied person. If I wanted to perform like one I needed a recharge break. I needed to accept that.

What are the benefits of napping?

First, I web searched the positive benefits of naps. (Like any proper millennial would, of course!). Some research shows that naps boost mood, energy…duh, reduce the risk of heart attacks and may actually elongate my life! Those sound like really good reasons to start snoozing right away!

I no longer had to justify my rest

And, the more I thought about it the more I realized I. LOVE. NAPS. I get all snuggled up in my blankets, warm and cozy. I collect my pets who sleep around me like guards and I read a book until my mind wanders off peacefully. I wake up refreshed and energized which in turn boosts my mood and productivity later in the day.

Now, I embrace the nap

And, any time I get down on myself for sleeping, I think about those children I mentioned before. Bear with me for a second here. Kids need the extra rest to get through their day. Toddlers are experiencing life, learning and growing up into successful human beings. They nap and are still able to do everything else? I can too!

Did that make sense? Probably not, but I’ll leave that sentiment there in case it does to you!

What do you think of napping? Were you ever embarrassed to say you rely heavily on it?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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