By Bill Storie
“I’m in a meeting”
Every day between roughly 2-3 pm I attend our “NAP Committee” meeting in my office. It’s a serious and very important Committee – addresses various health issues including reducing blood pressure, helping cardio-vascular matters, relaxation techniques, peace of mind, mental alertness, and so forth.
Mind you, I’m the only one who ever shows up.
When I was working (well, working and getting paid for it) I tried in vain to organize a daily NAP Meeting. But it rarely worked out. There would always be some irritating colleague who would insist on discussing something entirely irrelevant (like work !!). So, I would have to delay the Meeting, and then by the time I got round to it again, it would be time to go home. Another non-event. (Many people from the Bank I worked in read these epistles, so I must be careful about admitting how many NAP meetings I actually had !!!!)
The nice thing about these NAP meetings is that you don’t have to prepare for them, don’t have to bring anything special, don’t have to get all dressed up, don’t have to follow an agenda in fact – and above all, you don’t have to get angry if no-one else shows up to your meeting. If they don’t appear, then you go right ahead and easily handle the business entirely on your own. Works a treat. In fact, you can do it with your eyes shut !!!
A Research Study was presented recently at the European Society of Cardiology at its annual meeting in London. The study showed that people who take an afternoon nap benefit from lower blood pressure and overall calmness. It seems to affect the cardio system such that even at night when the “big sleep” takes place, the blood pressure remains low (which is natural anyway, but he wee nap improves it).
Personally I love the idea. I won’t say I do it every day, but maybe 2 or 3 times during the work week (what am I saying? – I don’t have a work week anymore ;-)) I’ve even been known to slide away from home at the weekend, nip in to the office, watch some football, then have a snooze.
I have a very comfortable couch in my office with lots of cushions. I lock the door, no-one comes in, lights out, A/C on. Off we go.
To begin with I found that having the afternoon nap really messed me up at night. I’d have difficulty falling asleep, then wake around 4 am, toss and turn. But as time moved along, I started to realize that if I was awake at 4 then I could go on Facebook, read the newspapers, check e-mails – because – I didn’t have a day job to go to. This online life, especially with the Olderhood project, gives me a 7/24 excuse to get up and get on with things. Brilliant.
I know many of us are awake early in the day (I see what time they are on in our Facebook Club for example). So many of us Oldsters apparently don’t sleep a full 8 hours – or maybe can’t. Makes no difference really. If you are functioning well with your current sleep pattern, then chill. If you feel dozy at 2 pm, go have a nap.
Conformity with the societal pattern of (say) awake at 6, get up 6.30, go to work at 8, back home by 5.30, dinner, then bed at 11pm is fine – when you are working. But in this retired part of life, who cares?
I rarely have critical stuff to do in the afternoon (or any time really !!) so “losing” an hour is totally irrelevant and because I don’t have to wrap up by 5 pm, I can “work late” to catch up (no overtime pay though !!)
So the next time you feel like an afternoon nap, hang out the Do Not Disturb sign, take off your shoes (and anything else you fancy), cozy up, and close your eyes … you’ll feel like a new man when you wake up (no, ladies, that’s not meant to suggest you should change spouses !!!)
By Bill Storie