Naps Are Good for Me (I Think)
3 a.m. - I have averaged a little over 5 hours of sleep a night for several years, resulting in a daily nap. It used to be a nap was a luxury. Some sleep professionals disagree about the value, but I feel it is necessary for me.
Here's what sleep professionals say and what I say:
Is napping good for me?
Sleep professionals: Most say yes, yet some say no.
Me: Yes, I take it where I can get it.
What are the possible adverse effects of a nap?
Sleep professionals: Naps might interfere with nighttime sleep
Me:Naps might interfere. Probably, but I have no problem going to sleep even if my nap has been late and long and I go to sleep very quickly.
How long should I nap?
Sleep professionals: There is more agreement here. 15 to 30 minutes say most.
Me: I used to stay in the 30-minute range, but now it is likely to be more, even an occasional 2 hours.
What time of day is best for a nap?
Sleep professionals: They say 1 to 3 PM is best. Don't nap in the late afternoon as it might make it challenging to go to sleep at bedtime.
Me: Even if it is late in the day, I take a nap if I can't stay awake. I have no problem going to sleep at my usual bedtime. Staying asleep is another story. The bad news is that I have several chronic health issues which probably contribute to the insomnia and the napping that follows.
Thinking about my insomnia-nap problem
Every day I think about the long term reality of long term sleep deprivation and wonder what should I be doing. Sometimes a new plan pops up but most often not. The good news is this: I feel good and vigorously exercise 2 to 3 hours daily. Back to the bad news: I am tired all the time. Therefore, I nap almost every day.
What do I think causes the insomnia-nap problem for me? Probably a combination of age, bladder problems, and prostate cancer all contribute. I have tried many medications and other treatments, none of which have worked. When I speak to others who have chronic health issues it is not long before lack of sleep comes up.
We must keep trying
It is important to remember that we are all different and what works for me may not work for you. We must keep searching for answers specific to our issues. I am not saying, "This, too, will pass." It may not, but we must keep on inquiring.
I will keep working on the nighttime sleep issue, and if and when I solve that, napping should be back to normal. There is no choice but to keep learning from reliable sources and keep experimenting.
At 78, even though I am tired, I believe in putting as much as I can into the life I have for as long as possible and taking naps.
I would like to hear about your experience with insomnia. Do you try not to nap throughout the day? Share your story below.
Do you have any other health conditions besides insomnia?