I CAN'T GET THROUGH THE DAY WITH OUT A NAP -- OR CAFFEINE. IT'S NOT NORMAL! I TOLD MY CHINESE DOCTOR IN DESPERATION. WELL, SHE SAID, ACTUALLY IT IS. WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THAT MOST OF THE WORLD NAPS, EVERY DAY. THAT THE DOCTORS IN THE LARGE, BUSY HOSPITAL IN BEIJING WHERE I WORKED BEFORE COMING HERE, THEY NAPPED, EVERY AFTERNOON. 15-20 MINUTES. SOME JUST LAID THERE HEADS RIGHT DOWN ON A TABLE AND SLEPT.
Ah, so maybe the cure for my 'chronic afternoon fatigue' is not yet another expensive supplement or exotic powder from the co-op for 'maxed out adrenals' but simply, to sleep, sweet sleep.
So, I did. I have let myself take time out to simply rest. For a while now, I have just given into this overwhelming urge to rest in the afternoon. Mama's doing yoga nidra for the next 30 minutes - the kids know to be quiet - the cats don't get to come in. My thick, no-light-can-get-through drapes from Ikea are drawn, eye pillow - and then, yoga nidra. Yogic Sleep. Because that makes me nap almost instantly. It's a guided meditation, rotating my consciousness around my body and the funny thing is, it's very much like the guided meditation my grandmother would use to make my sister and me sleep when we were kids and would sleep over in her awesome feather beds. Relax your big toe, she would say, then your second toe, your third toe, your...your...zzzzzzz - and somewhere on the journey through our bodies, we'd be out. I don't know where she got this idea but it worked like a charm every time.
It's become even more important that I take the time to nap after I have added several evening classes to my teaching schedule, it gives me that second wind and when I avoid the caffeine/chocolate temptation then I still fall asleep like a baby by 10 or 10:30PM.
I realize that my particular schedule allows for napping, many of my students are working in office settings where taking a snooze at 3:30PM is not possible; so instead they resort to caffeine or just spacing out - checking out mentally and not getting much done anyway while managing to look reasonably productive. I know, I have been there.
Maybe I won't always need to incorporate naps, maybe my adrenals really are depleted or my heart and body just strung out from post-divorce-making-it-on-my-own-in-a-foreign-country-stress. But for now, I nap, as often as I need to and just count on my body to tell me when it isn't tired anymore, at 3:30PM - speaking of which, it's now 3:45PM and sure enough, I am just wanting to conclude this little blog entry so I can go snooze and be ready and rested for a get-together tonight.
If you are like me, and need a bit of help dozing off in the afternoon, then this Yoga Nidra CD is guaranteed to help you. Just don't have caffeine right before you 'nidra'.