Psalm 3:5 - I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
When a child is a baby or toddler, they take naps throughout the day. They tire easily, and require that extra sleep.
When a child goes off to school, they still may require a nap during preschool and kindergarten. But once a child grows up, and is in school for the day, naptime usually disappears unless they’ve had a very full day.
As a parent, you don’t think much about your child taking a nap. It’s just what they do. They run full speed ahead and then crash and burn. No one would chastise a child for needing some down time, but if you’re an adult, a nap can seem out of the ordinary.
For those of us who suffer from a chronic health condition, especially chronic pain, a nap isn’t out of the ordinary. It’s required. It doesn’t matter if we’ve spent the day at home or have been running around most of the day, because when we enter the afternoon hours, our bodies beckon us to rest. I need that nap to survive the day.
I’ve been made fun of more times than I can count because I take a nap. But if I don’t listen to my body and rest, I can’t make it through the day. Not physically and not emotionally. I come to the point of tears when exhaustion hits, because I’ve listened more to others’ criticisms than to what my body is trying to tell me what I need.
In addition, those of us who struggle to make it through the day can be found preparing for bed earlier than most. This, too, can make other people frustrated with us especially if we’re in the middle of a social function, or simply watching a movie together on the couch. But my body has a rhythm that beats to the drum of my pain, and it requires me to turn off the music and listen to the silence.
Is taking a nap during the day such a bad idea even for people who are healthy? According to mayoclinic.org in their article, “Napping: Do’s and Don’ts for Healthy Adults,” there are benefits from napping such as quicker reaction time and memory. The article also discusses what the drawbacks of napping are, and when you should consider taking a nap.
So you see, taking a nap to survive the day isn’t something to make fun of another person for. They just might need that nap, and even the Lord sustains us when we sleep. He understands why we need a nap and will awaken us with renewed energy. Go ahead and take that nap, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.