Napping, Relaxation, and Sleep

Napping, Relaxation, and Sleep


Some say a daytime nap can disturb overnight sleep, and for some folks, it most certainly does.

But there is another school of thought:
Practice Makes Perfect, and…
Sleep Begets Sleep.

I find that “practicing relaxing and allowing sleep…” by incorporating relatively short naps when you are fatigued and/or drowsy… can improve one’s ability to relax and sleep effectively overnight.

When all systems are go, physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, etc., usually fewer naps are desired or needed.
But the body has great wisdom, and can indicate its needs before we have a conscious clue of which systems and organs may be running at less than optimal function level.
If we simply listen to, follow and honor the signals of the body, we can often avert more serious problems.
We don’t really NEED to know WHY we are tired… just THAT we are tired.

Sometimes this is an issue of relinquishing control. Relinquishing control in some areas of our lives can be infinitely beneficial. This is related to grasping the importance of community, and inter-dependence. We don’t need to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders… nor in our minds.

Every animal has a circadian rhythm. God made both night and day. Every human being needs deep, restorative sleep, and also rest. If you experience stress while trying to fall asleep, or in the middle of the night, you may wish to talk softly to yourself about why and how to “relax and allow sleep”. There is also a great book: The Sleep Book, by Dr. Seuss, that can help children and adults grasp and put into practice the importance of sleep. TRY IT, YOU’LL LIKE IT!!

Connection as an Anti-Depressant

Mina and Me, on a walk in the Berkeley HillsI want to share something: I LOVE walking… pretty much any time, any where. In the U.S., people spend a lot of time alone. And I used to spend a fair amount of time walking alone, even though I generally prefer to be accompanied. One time, I took a trip to Mexico to spend time with my (now ex) husband’s family. There, and in many other countries and cultures, most people spend very little time alone. I found this a little odd, but rather pleasant, as I’ve always been gregarious and I appreciate company. If I walked to pick up fresh veggies at the corner market, one of the relatives would walk with me. If I had to do any other errand, someone would offer to accompany me. And I always said yes. I got used to this and enjoyed the walks quite a bit.

Upon my return to the U.S., I resumed my walks, and the first time I was walking alone, I observed something profound. My mind happened to take a little unhealthy detour — something related to worry and seeing things from a negative and somewhat twisted perspective. I caught it, and noticed it. I thought, “That’s funny; I haven’t had that kind of thought lately. I wonder why not, and I wonder what elicited that just now.” I followed the train of thought back, and knew that this kind of thought had not been a completely uncommon occurrence for me… particularly while walking, so I wondered why it seemed unfamiliar to me all of the sudden. And it came to me: I realized I had not been ALONE for a while. I had not been walking ALONE for quite a while.

As a Spanish Medical Interpreter, I had interpreted for several psych appointments for depressed and other mentally ill patients. And I began to reflect on the CULTURAL differences between depression and other mental illnesses and treatment for such HERE in the U.S., and in Mexico. And I learned at a deeper level one of the most important Principles of healthy, happy, longevity: Connection. When you are WITH people a LOT, you may feel a little imposed upon, (oh darn!) but there are built-in checks and balances when you start to think and say things that are not true and objective, like negative thoughts and perspectives that don’t take into account the positive aspects of a scenario or the ability to resolve difficult dilemmas by obtaining community/family support and not being left solely to one’s own devices (which are sometimes woefully inadequate). “Your problem” becomes/is “our problem”. “Let me make you a good meal and that will help you feel better.” See, a lot of times people get into a negative spiral here in the U.S. because they get a little out of sorts and then they don’t have the energy or focus to do good “self-care”, so they get worse because they have inadequate nutrition or they stay up too late, don’t shower or get dressed or get out, etc. Each of those things happens because they are not fully integrated in a community. The brain then functions worse and worse. If there are people around, they can and do help reverse a spiral, or elevate a person enough to keep them from plummeting.

If YOU see what I’m saying here, and have your own experiences which corroborate this concept of the importance of “Connection” to mental health (which plays out statistically), then please join me at It is my mission (Purpose) to help bring the wholesome lifestyle of the world’s Longevity Hot Spots to the United States. I could use your help. The BluePrint for Life includes: Nutrition, Movement, Relaxation, Connection & Purpose. Thank you!!!

Organic Nesting

If you wanted to surround yourself in purely organic materials, and avoid synthetic chemicals, you would probably already be wearing natural fibers, from your little piggies to your sombrero.  Which would take care of 2/3 of the job… so then how about over night?  You have cotton or silk sheets, too, right?  But how about the off-gassing from the materials of your bed?  That’s 6-8 hours a night of exposure — roughly 2500 hours a year.  As a Longevity Consultant, I am always checking if people are getting their 6-8 QUALITY HOURS of OVERNIGHT SLEEP.  But hey, what are we BREATHING during those hours?

Next time I purchase a bed, I’m going organic.  I happened upon a company that provides all-organic-materials beds.  It’s a family owned company, and they deliver coast to coast.  In fact, Vicki and Joey, the couple who owns and runs the company have 5 kids, and both parents gave up the 9-5 administrative and tech employee life to become entrepreneurs that provide 1/3 of your healthy environment.

The Organic Bedroom

Vicki took some time to satisfy my curiosity about which materials are used in their beds.  Apparently, since 2007, all mattresses must pass a flame test and have flame retardant, but most people in organics want to eliminate the chemicals in their environment… so one material The Organic Bedroom uses is organic wool:  wool acts as natural flame retardant; organic wool cannot contain chemicals; it must be washed in all natural waters and soaps.  Other wool is treated with chemicals.

When I’m in their neck of the woods later this year — I hope to meet them, and get my horizontal on!  Maybe they’ll be part of our Longevity Community, so we can help everyone with organics, 24-7-365.

Update: We DID meet Joey in January of 2013, and we enjoyed his very thorough approach to our questions.