For the past four years the twelve foot trampoline in our yard has been my favorite location for a peaceful low stress siesta during the warm weather months. It's perfectly placed in a shaded area of our backyard paired with a slight breeze blowing through our willow tree around 4:00 in the afternoon. New research indicates that a short midday snooze is attributed to reducing the risk of fatal heart problems, especially among men. People who took a 30-minute siesta at least 3 times a week had a 37% lower risk of heart disease-related death. This news was particularly exciting for me since I'm a huge advocate for napping as a stress reducer. This new finding brought me almost as much delight as learning about the positive health benefits of red wine and dark chocolate. Especially so if you combine them together. Yes!
It was September of 2006 when I had a coronary stent inserted near my heart to open up a 98% blocked artery. This simple surgery helped me overt a massive heart attack. I am well aware that I dodged a huge bullet being only forty seven years young with heart disease running in my family. It was a wake up call for myself and my family. I knew that everything was about to change for the better and it did.
Since that time I have been working very hard to lower stress along with a laundry list of other typical things that need lowering. My winter naps have been run-of-the-mill compared to that late aftenoon snooze on my sweet trampoline. Knowing that the first day of Spring is about to begin offers me tremendous hope that my afternoon serenity is drawing nearer. Lowering stress has been no easy task since most of my personal stress comes from the way I react to external stressors. I have had to learn an entire new way of problem solving and how to take deep breaths before reacting. In other words, I have had to completely alter my lifestyle along with increasing my daily exercise. Adding a glass of red wine per day was one of the more painless changes I've had to endure.
My wife just recently completed her final advance in a long and hard fought battle for a backyard hot tub. She cleaverly decided to pull up data on the extreme health benefits of soaking in hot water along with thereaputic massage. This key strategy was not employed until now. Apparently soaking in hot water helps you sleep better, lowers blood preassure, reduces blood sugar levels, promotes quality family time and here's the big one... it reduces stress. Man! Those two words were the magic combination. Her three year battle ended with the signing of a hot tub peace treaty. In this rare case both sides won without any casualties. Ok twist my arm honey, if it's what you really want, then fine.
I encourage everyone to invest time this year in the ritual of an afternoon nap. I know it feels like you are being an unproductive slacker, let that idea go, it's garbage. You are adding valuable years to your manly life by calling a time-out during your busy weekend for that moment of perfect serenity. Carve out your favorite spot and get busy getting horizontal. Your life actually depends on it. The research also indicated it’s likely that women reap similar benefits from napping, but not enough of them died during the study to be make a conclusive finding. LOL! This is no reason why "Mrs. I'm too busy" cannot find her own little piece of paradise under the shade of your new flat screen TV.
Life's most simple and wonderful pleasures often appear clearly within our reach if we would only stop long enough to reach out and take hold of them. Don't hesitate! Sign up today, risk free, for a low stress siesta. Then email me and thank me for being bold enough to suggest you make your life better. I'll be waiting. One more thing, keep that nap short, limiting it to about an hour or so. Otherwise you will be up way too late with way too much energy, only causing yourself stress and defeating the purpose.
Wishing you happy napping.