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On Naps, Multiple Sclerosis and The Power of Inaction

Pictured above: a hammock in the cafe at Nap York image from Lonely Planet.

When I was working full time, I would wake up in the morning and think; "When can I get back to bed again?"

Naps were a dream for me at that time, but a luxury I thought I could not afford. Working in a male dominated environment, I was too afraid to admit that my energy sinks to an incapacitating low in the afternoon. I prided myself on the never-let-them-see-you-sweat mantra. There were a couple times when I was so exhausted I would turn off my office light, lock my door and curl up into a ball under my desk for a few minutes of rest. It got complicated when I had to travel mid-day for a meeting. Reinforcements were required due to a nasty habit of falling asleep at the wheel on my return trips. My trusted friend and co-worker would rearrange her schedule to drive me to my meetings and she would work off-site.

It's been 19 years since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Of all the possible consequences of the disease, I am lucky that fatigue is my number one complaint.

Now that I make my own schedule, I only have myself to blame if I don't take time to rest. Lately there has been so much research that supports the power of a nap. If I were still working full time, maybe I would feel more empowered to put my foot down or better yet - pillow.

If you live in New York City, you can find a place that specializes in helping people find rest. Nap York - is dedicated to "recharging people who power the world". They offer pods that serve as a private refuge to nap, relax, or meditate

In Daniel Pink's book, When, he expounds on the topic of naps as a powerful tool for energy and creativity. Here are some quotes from his book. You can find the full review of his book on this site.

"Napping increases "flow", a powerful source of enagagement and creativity."

"A large study in Greece found that people who napped were as much as 37% less likely as others to die from heart disease, "an effect of the same order of magnitude as taking an aspirin or exercising every day."

"The overall power of napping to our brainpower is massive, especially the older we get."

A diagnosis of MS is not a requisite for fatigue. We all experience energy highs and lows throughout the day. The important thing is to listen to your body and take inaction when needed!

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