National Napping Day and Me

In anticipation of National Napping Day, observed annually the day following the return of daylight saving time, I’ve taken  2 hour naps every day for a week.  National Napping Day is supposed to provide everyone with the opportunity to have a nap and catch up on the hour of sleep they lost due to the spring forward time change.  Personally, I would prefer no time change and instead of N.N.Day we had a National No-Time-Change Day.

Curious Critters Catching Zzzz’s by Peggy

Mid-afternoon naps are an integral part of many cultures, and scientifically proven to be good for you.

A needed rest is supposed to make you feel better, improve your mood, be more productive and energetic.  After my 2 hour naps I felt groggy, foggy, like muck.

Researching National Nap Day, I read that numerous studies have shown that short 10-20 minute naps are the most effective when midday fatigue hits.  Improvements in alertness, productivity and mood have all been shown to improve with this type of snooze.  

Apparently 10 – 20 minutes prevents your brain waves from going into deep sleep which is what creates the grogginess when you wake up

Now, they tell me . . .


William Anthony, Ph.D., a Boston University Professor and his wife, Camille Anthony, created National Napping Day in 1999 as an effort to spotlight the health benefits to catching up on quality sleep.  “We chose this particular Monday because Americans are more ‘nap-ready’ than usual after losing an hour of sleep to daylight saving time,” Anthony said.




Trauma: To Sleep or not to Sleep, That is the questions . . .

Before I was licensed I was the director of a Rape Trauma program.  I’ve gone on to successfully treat people with all manners of traumatic experiences from being in airplane crashes to buried alive.   One of the hallmarks is disturbed or disrupted sleep.  No matter what suggestions I might have or what they might try it doesn’t often help.   Even sleep medications don’t  always help.

Reading this release from The University of Massachusetts about how it might be better NOT to sleep after a traumatic event got my attention. 

“Sleeping after a traumatic event might lock in bad memories and emotions, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst asked more than 100 healthy adults to rate their emotional responses to a series of images, some depicting unsettling scenes. Twelve hours later, they rated the images again. The difference: Half of the subjects slept during the break; the other half did not.
“Not only did sleep protect the memory, but it also protected the emotional reaction,” said Rebecca Spencer, a neuroscientist at UMass Amherst and co-author of the study that was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Study subjects who stayed awake for 12 hours had a weaker emotional response to the unsettling images the second time around, suggesting sleep serves to preserve and even amplify negative emotions. Their memories were also weaker than those of their well-rested counterparts, as they struggled to remember whether they had seen the images before.

“It’s true that ‘sleeping on it’ is usually a good thing to do,” said Spencer, citing evidence that sleep boosts memory and other cognitive functions. “It’s just when something truly traumatic or out of the ordinary happens that you might want to stay awake.”
Spencer said people often find it difficult to sleep after a traumatic event.
“This study suggests the biological response we have after trauma might actually be a healthy, she said. “Perhaps letting people go through a period of insomnia before feeding them sleeping meds is actually beneficial.”
While the findings may have implications for post traumatic stress disorder, Spencer emphasized that daily emotional ups and downs are not grounds for sleep deprivation.
Just because we have a bad day doesn’t mean we should stay awake,” she said. “We need to maintain some memories and emotional context to know what to avoid. We do learn something from them.”

Although sleep gives the body some much-needed rest, the brain stays active. Spencer used polysomnography to monitor brain activity in some sleeping subjects.
“REM sleep in particular was associated with a change in how emotional you found something,” she said. “We think there are parts of the brain being activated during sleep that allow us to process those emotions more than during day.”

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College.

Update by Max

Dear ALL my best friends,

Since my Human has been toooooooo poooooooooped tooooooooo pop I thought I had better let you know all the important things that have happened.  Here’s my update:

  1.  I was taken to the Vet today!  I got tricked.  I was told we were going for a ride.  Well, I got taken for a ride.  I DO NOT like that place.   I don’t trust anyone in that office.  I was very upset.  You see I had a staph infection a few weeks ago and they were checking up to make sure it’s all gone BUT NO ONE told me that was all they were doing.  One time I got left there for several days and it was a very harrowing experience.  I did get to have a few treats and a walk afterwards because my Human felt guilty for tricking me.  She SHOULD.
  2. My Human got some sleep last night!!!!!! I’m so relieved because she’s been disturbing MY sleep every night and I need my sleep.  I always sleep through the night and NEVER disturb my humans with coughing and snorting . . .  enough said.
  3. My human Judy’s new studio is at a standstill because my Human Dave has a sore elbow.  My human’s are falling apart right in front of my eyes.
  4. My human is working on a new workshop with her friend Laurie Miller.  It’s about procrastination.  Laurie wants to do it with my Human because Laurie doesn’t know the first thing about procrastinating and My human is an expert procrastinator.