One of my favorite things to do since childhood has been my family’s tradition of spending Saturday afternoons at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Sakura, picking sugar cookies from the market across the street and then driving around looking at houses in my hometown and playing opera on the radio, and the sun warmed my legs , and I ended up dozing in the back seat with my mouth open and safely in my sleep bladder.
Naps have always appealed to me, but my relationship with them got more complicated with age. I was a fearful, sensitive kid (and an adult) and signed up for a ton of competitive and extracurricular courses thinking I had to do it for my college applications. As the pressure in school and youth increased, I struggled with sleepiness and fatigue. Napping was no longer a pleasure; It was something I did involuntarily during class after spending long nights pushing myself for tests.
At the end of my sophomore year, after weeks of stress during a large speech and debate tournament, I had my first stress-related attack. This led to rounds of testing and doctors advising me to sleep and eat more regularly, but ultimately no official diagnosis. Take care of yourself, they said. I heard their advice but did little to heed it.
In college and in my 20s, I started taking naps again between classes on a friend̵
At 28, after another decade of unstable sleep patterns, I had two seizures in a row. The second had a concussion, a black eye, and a diagnosis of epilepsy in adults. I finally realized that I had to prioritize my sleep, even if it wasn’t what “other people” seemed to be doing. I had to remind myself, and I still do, that napping is not a sign of my inability to do anything. Indeed it is essential to my performance, health and survival. And the more I think about it, the less I understand why we as a culture have ever given up napping after preschool. Take it from this epileptic; Everyone can benefit from better sleep. If anything, taking a nap (15-30 minutes) increases productivity. Studies show that if you know how to sleep properly, having a quick nap helps with drowsiness.
Since my diagnosis, I have taken pleasure in improving my sleep setup several times a week to better rest and nap. Here let me share with you my favorite nap products that will help me turn off stimuli and take time to breathe, recharge and retreat into that safety bubble for a while.