The Joy of Napping: The Bipolar Question of the Week

Patient Expert

It is three o'clock. I just finished cranking out a bunch of work. Now my brain is playing dead. Time to reboot with a nap. My expectation is that I will wake up with a mostly operational brain. It's amazing how a working brain can optimize quality of life.

Napping is one of my coping tricks. It is part of my overall sleep strategy, which seems to work most of the time. Basic rule: Get the sleep right and a lot of the rest of bipolar seems to take care of itself. I have never met anyone with bipolar who doesn't have major issues with sleep. So much so, in fact, that it is easy to conceive of bad sleep as the main illness and bipolar as the downstream effect.

Oh, if only we could get the sleep right.

I am very fortunate in that I work from home, with a very flexible schedule. This means I have the luxury of taking naps.

Like many of you, the prospect of eight hours of sleep is a dream. (Wait - did I just write that?) But I can compensate with strategic naps.

For me, napping has the added benefit of chunking my day into manageable segments. I am not so overwhelmed at the prospect of sixteen or so interminable hours beating down on me, steadily, inexorably turning my grey matter to mush. Six or eight hours of being conscious at a stretch works fine for me. Longer, if I am on a roll.

On top of that, napping is definitely one of life's pleasures. But anything that is so enjoyable cannot possibly be good for you, right? Get ready, I just did a quick Google search and came across an article entitled, "Five Surprising Ways Naps Improve Your Health."

That's good enough for me.

Question: Do you take naps? Explain yourself.

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