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Monday, June 14, 2021

The Power of Napping #WellnessWednesdays

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Kirk Charles
Kirk Charleshttp://KirkCharles.com
Kirk Charles is a personal trainer who specializes in wellness. He is a 30-year vegan.

If you’re like me and you don’t work regular 9 to 5 hours, getting an adequate amount of quality sleep is a major challenge.

Many consecutive days, I’m up late at night and rise early in the morning, so there’s no way to get eight hours of sleep in. On top of that, my eating patterns are thrown off. And, as you already know, attempting to sleep and digest food at the same time is a no-no. So, is eight consecutive hours of sleep the best way to go?

Whether it’s the best way to go or not, as I get older, I’m finding more and more value in napping. After a certain amount of time, I get diminishing returns on productivity if I’m tired. However, when I’m well-rested, my mind is much clearer and more alert, which boosts productivity and creativity. Also, I’ve found that my workouts are more intense when I’m well-rested. That said, taking a nap is the best thing for me to get more out of myself. The concept of getting eight consecutive hours of slumber I’ve now thrown out the window.

Another thing I’ve found is sleeping without a pillow helps my posture. Now, most nights, I will lay on my back and fall asleep, not my side, which brings my spine into better alignment. It was uncomfortable at first, but after trying it for a couple of weeks, my neck and shoulder pain has gone away. Now I can’t imagine sleeping with a pillow at all.

Unfortunately, I’ve had many clients who have found it uncomfortable to lay down on their backs and let their heads drop down to the floor for even a short period of time. For some, it is even impossible. If you’re in that situation, I strongly advise getting some physical therapy to loosen up your spine. Stretching and yoga will help too.

The biggest culprit in bad posture is sitting all day at work, especially with the coronavirus pandemic still in full force and people are working from home. It negatively affects your neck, shoulders, back and hips. So, if you can’t get eight consecutive hours of sleep in and you’re working yourself into the ground, make naps mandatory in your schedule.

Start by lying down on your back, without a pillow, and take some deep breaths to begin the relaxation process and nap your sleeping problems away.

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