This I Believe

Rachel - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Entered on May 30, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: pleasure
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I believe…

Remember when you were in kindergarten, and they required you to take a nap? You hated the very idea of it, and resented that anyone would even DARE break the momentum of energy that your little 5-year-old body had. Now, as an adult, don’t you often wish that someone would require YOU to have a rest period during the day? I know, I know, the irony isn’t lost on me—it makes no sense that the time to rest is when you don’t have the time to rest.

I’ve always been a pretty good sleeper, so I know how important a good night’s sleep can be to my health. I can fall asleep almost anywhere, and some would even say that is a gift. (Others, of course, would call it a liability.) This has come to serve me well, especially when I travel internationally. It is imperative to be able to fall asleep in planes, or train stations, or even just standing in line waiting to get in to the Vatican. Because you often don’t know when you will be able to sleep, the ability to take a quick nap is important.

Naps are so refreshing. Power naps can virtually erase a sleepless night! A 20- or 30-minute nap is sometimes all one needs to feel rejuvenated. I never fully appreciated the power of a quick nap until I became a working mom. Suddenly, I wasn’t the only one governing my sleep schedule; my two young daughters had their own agendas. As a result, on the weekends I’ll occasionally try to take a nap while my daughter sleeps. This allows me to be a better mom to her (and her sister) when she wakes up.

Napping also relieves stress. If I’m having a bad day, or if there is a problem that I’m struggling with, and I just can’t get my head around it, I’ll lie down for a few minutes. When I awake, I feel that I can handle it—as if closing my eyes made it so the problem diminished in size. I don’t normally dream about the problem, and yet in my semi-conscious state, it takes care of itself.

I know that napping is just a form of escape like any other, but which other forms of escape make you feel better after having done them? Napping doesn’t actually make the problems of the world smaller, or offer solutions to those problems. But it makes them appear smaller, and sometimes perception is just as influential as reality. So, I believe in power of a short, refreshing sleep. I believe in taking time out of the day to sleep so the rest of the day can be quality time. I believe in naps.