I have always been a napper. I come from a long line of nappers.
When my husband and I were dating, he stopped at my parents’ house midafternoon and everyone was asleep. It freaked him out.
He does not come from a family of nappers. In fact, the entire concept of sleeping in the middle of a productive afternoon is just alien to him.
During my pregnancies, I was able to justify regular naps. Growing a human is exhausting work!
Then, as a mum of 3, I was just always exhausted and drinking an unsustainable amount of coffee.
Although Siestas are mostly associated with Spain, the practice originated with ancient Romans in Italy where it is called a Riposo.
“The word siesta comes from the Latin sexta,” explains Juan José Ortega, vice president of the Spanish Society of Sleep and a somnologist - an expert in sleep medicine. “The Romans stopped to eat and rest at the sixth hour of the day. If we bear in mind that they divided periods of light into 12 hours, then the sixth hour corresponds in Spain to the period between 1pm (in winter) and 3pm (in summer).”
I’ve done a lot of research on the optimal nap time and anything less than 30 minutes or more than 90 minutes seems to be the sweet spot. Obviously getting 90+ minutes isn’t realistic during the workday but less than 30 is completely doable.
Humans have a natural energy slump in the early afternoon, post lunch time. I found I was easily distracted and really slogging through.
In the morning I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed. Focused and efficient. By the afternoon, I’m toast.
Why fight it?
So now, I'm leaning into naps.
I build a nap into my day and look forward to this down time. No kids to wake me, no devices to distract me, I feel my heart rate slow and my brain shut down. I know I am very lucky that this is even an option for me and it’s only possible because I can make my own schedule.
Because I work with people all over the world, napping allows me to get a couple hours in working after the kid’s bedtime. Even getting a couple hours overlap with Australia makes things go more smoothly.
Here is my current schedule.
6:45am wake up- get kids off to school.
9am-1pm- crush it- I try not to schedule any meetings in the am
1-2pm- lunch/ nap
2-5pm- meetings scheduled for the afternoon/ run errands
5-8pm- pick up kids/ dinner/ bath/ bed
9-11pm- touch base with international partners
As work/ life flexibility reaches it's zenith, let's reconsider the 9-5 work day to what works for you as an individual. Work smarter not harder.
Join Bijou in embracing the modern siesta!
Cheers to naps for all