Friday, August 22, 2008

And I thought I was just getting old...........

For the longest time I have been getting really sleepy around 1pm to 2pm. Some days I even go for a nap for an hour and have to say I feel so much better for it. I am a lark, always have been and probably always will be. I am awake by around 6am and am in bed by 9pm. People make fun of us for going to be so early but dh is up for work by 4.40am, so he is pooped by 9pm.

Now after reading these articles I am pleased to say I am normal, not just getting old.

An article from the Toronto Star

"Most mammals sleep for short periods through the day. We have consolidated sleep into one long period, but the biological vestige remains. Our bodies are programmed for two periods of intense sleepiness: from about 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., and in the afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. This midday wave of drowsiness is not due to heat or too many fries at lunch. It arises from an afternoon dormant phase in our physiology, which diminishes our reaction time, memory, co-ordination, mood and alertness. "

Again an article in the Toronto Star

"To determine the best time to nap, it helps to know your "chronotype." What times would you get up and go to sleep if you were entirely free to plan your day? If you're a lark, apt to wake as early as 6 a.m. and go to sleep at night around 9 or 10, you're going to feel your need for a nap in the afternoon around 1 or 1:30 p.m. If you're an owl, preferring to go to bed after midnight or 1 a.m., and to wake around 8 or 9 a.m., your afternoon "sleep gate" will open later in the afternoon, closer to 2:30 or 3 p.m. "

Another article in the Toronto Star

"In designing the optimal nap, you need to grasp its potential components. During sleep, your brain's electrical activity goes through a five-phase cycle:

STAGE 1: FALLING ASLEEP


A short afternoon catnap of 20 minutes yields mostly light sleep, which enhances alertness and concentration, elevates mood and sharpens motor skills. To boost alertness on waking, drink coffee before you nap. The caffeine will kick in just as you're waking. Naps of up to 45 minutes may also include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which boosts creative thinking and sensory processing.

STAGE 2: LIGHT SLEEP


Limit your nap to 45 minutes or less if you need to spring into action after dozing. Otherwise, you may drift into slow-wave sleep. Waking from this stage results in serious sleep inertia, that feeling of grogginess and disorientation that can last for a half hour or more.

STAGES 3 AND 4: DEEP, SLOW-WAVE SLEEP


But you might want to take a long nap, at least 90 minutes. Many of us get about 1 to 1 1/2 hours less sleep per night than we need. A new study shows that the sleep-deprived brain toggles between normal activity and complete lapses, or failures – a dangerous state of slowed responses and foggy inattention. Sound familiar?

REM: DREAMING STAGE


Naps of 90 to 120 minutes usually comprise all stages, including REM and deep slow-wave sleep, which helps to clear your mind, improve memory recall and recoup lost sleep. Longer naps in the morning yield more REM sleep, while those in the afternoon offer more slow-wave sleep."

13 comments:

Niki RuralWritings said...

No, Gill, I will not scrub your cupboards, not even for carrot cake. Once was enough! :)

I take a nap most every day around 3:00 even though I am a lark too.

I have an excellent carrot cake recipe, a little different from yours.

Have a great weekend!

Marie Louise said...

My husband who works from home takes a nap almost every day around 2:30pm. He doesn't like to admit it but I know it's true - unfortunately my desk at work isn't big enough to stretch out on!

Jess said...

I like naps now after having a kiddo, but I used to not...course I'm 20 though...

glad your normal...lol

Lib said...

Hi Gill,
I am a lark also.
Hope you have a great day!
Blessins',Lib

Kimmie said...

Hi Gill;

A nap, what a novel idea. Now if I could only convince the 6 children to play along ;-)

I did get diagnosed with a thyroid problem 8 years ago...back then I NEEDED a nap daily. Found out that it was because of my sluggish thyroid...they did recommend that I have a protein shake in the afternoon.

Might give it a try...the product I got from the Natural food store...called Designer Protein (whey).

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Denise said...

I'm a lark and an owl, and oh boy am I in big trouble! I can nap any old time. I don't even know I am going to have one until I wake up in a sitting position a while later, chin cupped in hand with my hand asleep. Great post and very interesting.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Thanks Gill - that explains a lot. I am also a lark, up between 5.30 - 6 and do try to have nap most afternoons around 3pm. Bedtime is around 10 pm.

A x

Gill - That British Woman said...

I am glad I am not the only one....great to hear from you all...

Gill

Janet said...

Interesting post, Gill. I'm definitely a night owl. I avoid napping in the afternoon - even though I often feel like one - in the mistaken belief that I might go to bed sooner. I never do though.

CannedAm said...

That afternoon dip can also be due to blood sugar irregularities. If there's a history of Type II diabetes, get that checked :)

That said, ever since I first gave birth, I've been a napper. I can nap any time, any where. Once at a concert, I leaned my head on hubby's shoulder and he said "OH NO YOU'RE NOT! No Naps at Rock Concerts!!!" LOL

I'm mostly an owl...sometimes a lark. The lark in me gets more visual stuff done. The owl in me gets much more cerebral stuff. Visual stuff is the clutter in the house. Cerebral stuff...that's my novel :) It doesn't work too well to be both in the same day. Though I've done it. The older I get the dumber it makes me :)

Evelyn said...

I am not sure what I am as my work hours dictate that I be a lark. I am up at 6 and usually fall asleep reading between 10 and 11. I don't feel the need for a nap if I keep busy during the day like at work or at home during housework. I have tried to nap during the day when I am home and can't do it. interesting article though!

Lindsay said...

I am a lark and just like you, Gill, I am in bed by about 9.30pm. I cannot nap in the afternoons though.

cheshire wife said...

The days seem to be getting shorter as I get older and there aren't enough hours in a day to do all the things that I want to do. Never mind sleeping and napping.