power nap

If we take a look at the definition of “nap” itself, Wikipedia states it’s a short period of sleep typically taken during daylight hours and is a response to drowsiness during waking hours. It seems there’s quite a few people looking for a “nanna nap”, in fact about 165,000 Google search results  and approximately 524,000 search results for a “nanny nap” so it’s fair to say, not only are they popular – but in need.

It’s no wonder even “mattresses online” has over 29,400,000 search results!
nanna nap
In many Western cultures, children and the elderly are “expected” to nap during the day and are provided time periods and locations to do so. Other cultures allow for a nap period at midday after their largest meal before returning to work. If I had a nanna nap after lunch, there’s no way I’d be returning anywhere. I’d be lucky to wake up for dinner. But before I come to my own Internet researched conclusion on whether nanna naps are detrimental to our health, I need to further define this term. In particular, “nanna.”

  • “Nanna” means god of the moon in Sumerian mythology while in Norse mythology (whatever that is) Nanna is the goddess and wife of god, Baldr.
  • Nanna is also a genus of moths, the aesthetically challenged cousin to butterflies and then of course, there’s Nana Mouskouri (616,000 search results) who has nothing to do with naps unless you’re listening to one of her songs.
  • “Your Dictionary” describes “nanna” as The Mesopotamian god of the full moon while “Urban Dictionary” defines nanna as “that one girl that fulfils all your needs in life. She is usually a party animal, but can also be serious when the time comes. She loves the company of her friends and they enjoy her presence.”

I really don’t know what to think of this. It’s altered my viewpoint on nanny naps (nonna naps in Italian) but luckily, the next definition under this was “grandmother.” I’ve heard other people refer to nanny naps as nanonaps which sounds kind of cool.  Nano meaning a very small particle but nano itself reminds me of “nanu nanu” from Mork and Mindy.  Perhaps I will start a new trend by calling nanny naps, “nanu nanu” naps. Maybe it will take off. Maybe it won’t.

I think it’s worth questioning though, the time of day a nanna nap is best had…

[em]Easy, 2pm. Next question.[/em]

Why 2pm?  Easy, cos apparently taken at this time, naps have a greater recuperation value than any other time of day. Now enough questions.

Let’s get to my final verdict.

My Internet research taught me nanna naps are not beneficial if a person’s been awake for long periods of time. Naps taken after short periods of wakefulness are going to refresh you way more than brief naps taken after long periods of wakefulness (so for example 18 hours). Research also revealed the longer a person’s been awake, the longer the nap needs to be to improve one’s mental alertness. Therefore, based on the time of day a nap is taken (2pm) and amount of wakefulness had prior to napping (not much), I find nanna naps…healthy.

This ruling is final.

However, this did make me question how much time nanny napping takes up in total, if we sleep for a third of our life? Care to guess anyone?