For introverts, shutting our eyes for a while allows us to shut the world out for a while, too.
It’s Monday morning. You glance at your schedule for the day and feel exhausted just looking at it. Meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Ah, the life of an introvert living in an extrovert’s world!
Thankfully, you’ve gotten into the habit of scheduling a 30-minute cat-nap for yourself every afternoon. You see that little slot on your calendar, and despite the busy day ahead, you know you’ll get a bit of respite to keep you going.
For many introverts, naps are an essential part of their day. They’re a way to recharge, reset, and keep going in our fast-paced world. Are you a fan of napping? From one introvert to another, here are nine reasons why naps might be an introvert’s best friend.
9 Reasons Why Naps Are an Introvert’s Best Friend
1. Shutting our eyes for a while allows us to shut the world out for a while.
The world can feel like a loud and overwhelming place sometimes. Okay, a lot of times. The moment we lie down, get cuddled up in our warm blankets, and close our eyes for a little snooze… it feels as if the world has stopped. For just a while, we get to be with ourselves, and it really doesn’t matter what else is going on. It’s the epitome of alone time.
2. Naps are a great way to recharge after socializing.
Have you ever felt totally energy-zapped after socializing? Wait, who am I kidding… we’re all introverts here. Of course, you have! Research actually shows that social interactions lasting over three hours can cause a feeling of social fatigue for anyone, whether introverted or extroverted.
As introverts, our threshold for socializing is often even lower than that. According to an article on Psych Central, “While introverts can appreciate socializing, they invest a lot of energy trying to navigate socially demanding environments, leading to social exhaustion.” When we’re feeling socially fatigued, sometimes there’s nothing more restorative than a cozy cat-nap.
3. They’re an “excuse” to take time for ourselves.
It’s not like we need an excuse to take time for ourselves, but sometimes life can be incredibly demanding and it can be hard to slow down. As introverts, we’re able to do our best work when we get an ample amount of alone time to recharge. That’s why sneaking off to take a nap can feel like the most luxurious form of self-care on a busy day. They’re the perfect way to slow down and hit the reset button before returning to our day.
4. Stress relief? Yes, please.
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives and it’s up to us to have healthy ways to manage it. However, if we’re feeling overly tired — which is natural for us introverts because all our overthinking and socializing can be exhausting — it’s going to be a challenge for us to deal with stress in a healthy way. It’s much easier to catastrophize and ruminate when you’re exhausted, right? That’s certainly the case for me.
Enter, naps. According to Psychology Today, “Recent research shows that naps reduce stress and strengthen the immune system in people who are sleep-deprived. Napping can also keep blood pressure in check in response to stress.”
So, take that nap! It’ll help you approach stressful situations in a calmer way.
5. It’s one time we can actually shut our minds off for a while.
As introverts, we tend to spend a lot of time in our heads. We’re wired to think deeply rather than act impulsively. It’s not uncommon for us to think of 452 different outcomes before finally making a decision. Although this helps us make thoughtful decisions, it can also be pretty exhausting to have such an active mind all the time.
While meditation is an awesome way to slow down our minds, naps can feel like the best way to actually shut off our minds for a while and just rest. Taking that 90-minute nap can be a blissful way to quiet an active, introvert’s mind.
6. Naps can help us be more creative and give us fresh ideas.
Are you overthinking that project you need to just finish already? I’m raising my hand high over here! If you’re feeling creatively blocked, continuing to stare blankly at your computer screen probably isn’t going to help. What can help, though? You guessed it — taking a nap.
“A short nap can elevate activity in the brain’s right hemisphere — that’s the area of the brain that governs creativity and insight,” says Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. in a Psychology Today piece on how napping can improve your life. “Napping also fosters greater cross-communication between your brain’s right and left hemispheres — encouraging cross-talk between your creative brain and your analytical brain.”
Take that nap and then come back to that creative project.
7. Our bed is a safe place to retreat.
Because we introverts value alone time, it’s important for us to have a space that feels safe for us to retreat and get that time to ourselves. For many of us, that place is our bed — and our bedrooms are our havens. When everything feels overstimulating, loud, and stressful, sometimes there’s no better place to go than the comfort of your own bed.
So, turn on the white noise and sink into your soft bed for an afternoon snooze. It’s good for you!
8. “Power naps” can give us a second wind.
Are you dragging a bit in your day? Feeling stressed? Overthinking? It might be time to take a power nap. Although there’s no medical definition for a “power nap,” it’s essentially just a short nap that ranges from 10-30 minutes long. For some people, taking a long nap actually leaves them feeling groggy, whereas a short nap feels more restorative.
According to an article on Cleveland Clinic’s website, “A short afternoon nap can help you feel less sleepy and lead to improvements in mood, alertness, reaction time, short-term memory, focus, and concentration.”
Since introverts have a tendency to get overwhelmed and drained easily, taking a quick nap can be exactly what we need for a quick reboot.
9. They’re a healthy way to decompress.
In the Western world, we live in a fast-paced culture that tends to put a lot of pressure on us to always be productive and busy. But, especially for introverted folks, constantly being “on” isn’t healthy. Honestly, it’s not great for anyone! The fact is, as introverts, we simply need more downtime to rest, whether it’s spent quietly reading, journaling, or taking a nap.
Many cultures, including Spain, Italy, Greece, and some Latin American countries, have historically promoted the importance of a midday nap. Now that’s an introvert’s dream. In fact, a 2011 study found that daytime naps could have cardiovascular benefits. Researchers discovered that participants who napped for at least 45 minutes in the day had lower average blood pressure after psychological stress vs. those who did not nap.
So instead of feeling guilty for needing to slow down and rest, let’s focus on the reasons taking that afternoon siesta is actually a really healthy thing for us to do.
What’s your favorite benefit of napping? Let us know in the comments below!