There is a lot of advice out there for us suggesting that taking naps during the day will affect our sleep at night. I suspect that can be true for some people. I personally love my little “power cat naps”. If I can lie down for 15 to 30 minutes in the afternoon between the hours of 3 to 5 pm, I am much more refreshed and enjoy a nice evening once my second wind kicks in. I do not find this kind of napping affects my night sleep at all.
Perhaps if I napped like my cat Mew does I would have a hard time sleeping at night. He is a cat and he is all about the catnap. As in, the all day catnap. He seems to sleep pretty well at night too so all of that napping is not affecting him much any.
Like most things in life it probably boils down to some moderation and knowing what works best for you. Realistically,we probably don’t want to sleep all afternoon if we want to get to sleep later for the night. I suppose there is some common sense to that.
I do want a good night of sleep- but as of yet, I am not willing to give up my afternoon siesta to get it. It is exactly 4:23 pm. Mew is curled up in his spot on the corner of the bed. Time for me to join him for our catnap….
My adorable cat, mew, is a pretty laid back little guy most of the time. He is docile, gentle, and very sweet. However, when he wants something, he has no trouble letting me know. If his food bowl is empty, he has this cry that is heart wrenching. He won’t let up until the bag of Friskies is out and pouring. Sometimes If I am really acting focused on something else (or half asleep), Mew will walk right in my path and it is hard not to step on him. Okay, Mew, you got my attention!
When Mew wants my attention it really doesn’t matter that I am reading my newspaper, paying the bills , or lesson planning. He will plop his little self right on my important papers and look at me and meow as if he’s saying “here I am! Love me. Pay atention to me”.
For whatever reason, Mew does not like the tap water we have here in Florida. Or he doesn’t like it when it is in his stainless steel bowl in the kitchen. I am at a sink, though- and boy, he wants that water out of the faucet. He becomes quite insistent. I had better turn that faucet on a bit for him before I am able to wash my hands, do the dishes, brush my teeth, etc.
I am a cat owner. I am also a mother and teacher of second graders. Come to think of it, like Mew, children are very good at getting our attention and getting what they want too.
Where am I going with this? My question for this morning is what are we doing to get our needs met? To get what we want for our lives? This issue may be more for women but it can be for anyone who is a bit of a pleaser, is shy, or has issues with asserting themselves.
One of my greatest sources of anxiety and insomnia is from not asserting myself in my life. What will they think of me? I would ask myself. I would not speak up and then beat myself up for being weak or scared, and not really being myself. It doesn’t feel very good when we are not being our true selves. Stifling oneself is not healthy. If we don’t speak up we can end up feeling resentful and bitter. That is not good energy or baggage to go through life with. Moreover, we are depriving the people around us and the world of the wonderful people we really are.
It is difficult and scary at first, but I encourage anyone who has social anxiety, assertiveness issues etc. to work on speaking up. Let your voice be heard. I am amazed how for so many years I worried about what others would think of me. I had to be the perfect little girl and woman and was terrified to let that mask down and let people see that I in fact, was not perfect (yikes. the horror of it!). I am realizing now that I am in my forties that most people are too busy living their own lives to be putting much thought about me. That revelation is a such a relief to me. If I can catch myself starting to worry, I’ll tell myself “what they think about me is really none of my business!). That perspective seems to put a smile on my face and my monkey mind more relaxed.
In sum, what have I learned from Mew, the children in my life, and years of life experience?
- If we want something, ask for it. Direct communication is most effective.
- What we have to say has value and we deserve to be heard!
- Insistence and persistence pay off
- 99.9% of what we worry about does not happen. This includes worrying that people are thinking bad thoughts about us (chances are they are not thinking about us at all- let alone anything negative).
- Remind ourselves that life is not a dress rehearsal. It is time be ourselves and live an authentic life- the life we are intended to live. If not NOW, when?!!!
- For Mew, asserting himself gives him a bowl full of Friskies, dripping faucet water to drink and play in, and lot’s of love, adoration, and affection. He doesn’t try to be anything that he’s not. He is a cat. He doesn’t try to be a dog.
Being comfortable in our own skin will result in a happier life and better sleep. As I write this, Mew is sound asleep at the foot of my bed. I think he does alright for himself.
Mew is my wonderful, adorable long haired black cat. Like any cat, Mew recognizes the need to be aware and conscious of his surroundings. It always amazes me how fast a cat’s reflexes are when they hear something. Cats can leap and spring into action faster than anything. However, when there is no loud noise to react to, Mew is chilling. He may continue to be aware but he is relaxed and can stay in this totally relaxed, napping state for an incredibly long time. I don’t think Mew is going to age prematurely due to undue stress he is putting on himself. Nor do I think he is lying there on the foot of the bed worrying about much of anything.
In summary, what can I learn from Mew? For safety’s sake and my survival I should be aware of my surroundings and be ready to take action when (and only if and when) immediate circumstances warrant it (a loud noise, someone much bigger than me about ready to step on me, etc.) Otherwise, just chill. Relax. No worries. Stress? What’s that? Problems? Are you kidding me? Fuhgettabout it…I am too busy taking my nap, ok?
Every now and then I am going to write posts inspired by my wonderful cat, Mew. Last night I was reading about the different stages of sleep and in particular -the idea of restorative sleep. I just happened to look up from my book, and there was Mew at the foot of the bed on his back, all four legs up, belly up….sound asleep. Talk about restorative sleep!
What can we learn from our wonderful furry friends?
- Don’t worry
- Be in the Now
- Know you are loved
- Know you are safe
- Stretch and get in a good comfortable sleeping position
- Trust in the world- don’t be afraid
- Be content with what you have (a soft warm bed, a warm loving human nearby on her laptop)
- There are very few things in this world more important then a restful, undisturbed nap!
Mew, my adorable long haired black cat, knows how to kick back and enjoy life. I am quite certain that he does not lose much sleep ever.
Here it is, the Mew Way:
1. Don’t worry about the past
2. Don’t fret about the future
3. Be in the now
4. Keep it simple
5. Stay flexible
6. Move when necessary
7. Stretch often
8. Be aware of surroundings
9. Love everybody
10. Run when the can opener is opening that tuna can!
11. Take lot’s of naps
12. Be cute and know you are cute
When I can’t sleep or feel particularly anxious I like to “hit the floor”. My cat always joins me. Cats are great at relaxing. They stretch regularly. Stretching, rolling, and breathing are a wonderful way to get our bodies, nervous systems, and minds relaxed.
No equipment is needed and can be done in the dark even when the rest of the household is asleep.
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- “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”-Psalm 4:8
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