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    I Need a Nap!

    By Karen Williams

    These days, everyone’s on some kind of health kick. We’re working out at gyms and yoga studios, talking about health and wellness, and experimenting with all types of fitness regimens and diet plans. We are aware of the challenge to keep in shape and maintain our weight, and the vigilance that it takes to stick to our goals. If we work out at home, we better stick to our exercise channel because with one click of the remote, our resolve can be destroyed by the junk food commercials shown regularly on prime time.

    Of the ten commercials we witness during our favorite half-hour sitcom, six of them are urging us to snack on food items that we do not need. Our temptation to visit the fridge during these ads is aided by the increased loudness in the volume of the television. We can still hear how good the snack is going to taste even as we prepare it. Though it’s difficult, many of us are persevering with diet and exercise to achieve our healthy weight goals and stave off diseases of excess. It seems that it’s in our American genes to go over the top with everything. We over eat, so we’re overweight. We do overtime at work. We’re overly stressed and sleep-deprived. Doesn’t anyone want to take a nap?

    I’m all for watching what I eat, and yoga remains my exercise regimen of choice; although I’m not sure if falling asleep on the mat at the end of my sessions qualifies me as a workout diva! What I know for sure is that sleep is my new drug of choice and that a nap a day keeps the “grouchies” away!

    I get up early each morning to chant, pray and meditate. I go to meetings, do paperwork, make business calls and check off my “To Do” list. I stay up as long as I can; yet around 2:30 every day, my biorhythm shifts. I begin to wind down mentally and before I know it, I am putting myself down for a nap. Napping worked for my children and now that they’re grown and gone, it works for me. There is simply no way that I can work from dawn until midnight and globe-trot as I do without my naps.

    Even the proverbial “cat-nap” works wonders for my psyche and my physique. Give me ten to thirty minutes to lay it down and upon rising, I am brand, fresh, and new! No sleep deprivation here! I rest before I make major decisions, before a night of hard partying and playing, or during a day of running errands. I nap because I can!

    Adequate rest is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to maintaining good health. We Americans don’t like to be deprived of anything.  So do yourself a favor and take a nap! Your heart, mind, body, and psyche will be glad you did.

    Shhh! Karen Williams is a napper! Reach her at karen@sfbaytimes.com.