Naps: The best alternative to sleep

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By Carolyn Risner

One of my favorite photographs of my parents was snapped on an early summer afternoon. They had no idea that I had come out of my room only to return for my camera and capture them for all eternity in a rather endearing picture.

They were curled up at opposite ends of the sofa napping.

You see, both my parents always denied they napped.

"Just resting my eyes," my father would say.

"Oh, I wasn't asleep," my mother protested. "I just closed my eyes for a minute."

At last I had tangible proof of their afternoon naps. There they are: mouths open, drool glistening in the corners of their mouths-fast asleep.

I thought it was something all old people did-rise with the chickens and catnap in the afternoon. And my parents were old- they must have been at least 48.

Later as a mother of three, working a 55-hour a week job I, too, learned the value of a nap-and all before I was 35.

I came to appreciate the "power nap" in those days. Give me 20 uninterrupted minutes and I was asleep and soon awake refreshed and ready to put in another 10 hours.

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