Let's just get this out of the way right off the bat: napping is not just for babies, little kids, and/or old people. Study after study has shown that naps are highly beneficial for just about anyone.

With today being National Napping Day, I suggest you non-nappers give it a shot and see what the rest of us, famous or not, have enjoyed for quite awhile. This unofficial holiday is generally observed the Monday after Daylight Saving Time begins to allow sleepers to adjust to their new schedule.

According to SleepAdvisor.org, National Napping Day was "invented by William Anthony, Ph.D., a professor at Boston University, and his wife Camille Anthony in 1999. The couple wanted to help educate people about the power of a good snooze and how getting just a little extra rest could be important to their health."

If you watch TV or listen to the radio, you've no doubt been subjected to roughly 50 gazillion commercials shouting and touting the health benefits of sleep, especially if you're sleeping on one of their mattresses, sheet sets, memory foams, contouring pillows, Egyptian cotton blankets, etc. And while they'd really like you to purchase one or all of the above-mentioned items, all you really need is a place to close your eyes for anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours.

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So, what are the health benefits? No less an authority than the world-famous Mayo Clinic says that the benefits are many, and include:

  • Relaxation
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Increased alertness
  • Improved mood
  • Improved performance, including quicker reaction time and better memory

Mayo's take is not enough for you? Another world-famous medical institution, Johns-Hopkins Medicine is all for taking naps, too. Johns-Hopkins says that people, particularly older adults, who took a nap that ranged from a half-hour up to 90 minutes had better better "word recall," which is the sign of a good memory, and better cognition.

Okay, still not convinced? It looks as though I'm going to have to bring out the celebrity endorsements. Here are a few famous individuals who loved to take a nap:

  • Winston Churchill- (TheCarousel.com quotes Churchill as saying "Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imaginations.")
  • Albert Einstein
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Thomas Edison
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Bill Clinton
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Aristotle

I plan to celebrate National Napping Day the same way I would if it were just a regular Monday. You'll find me on the couch later this afternoon, Dagwood Bumstead-style.

 

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