7

votes

Is napping Paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM

One of the Paleo books that I read suggested that mid-day sleepiness is due to eating a high glycemic diet and that by going Paleo I shouldn't have that problem anymore (which I don't). I also don't recall seeing any recommendations to consider adding naps as part of a healthy sleep routine. A friend of mine, however, mentioned that humans have always napped and it's much healthier. He said he read it somewhere but wouldn't give me the reference. Is it true? Did Paleo people nap as well?

(edit-added ? and another tag)

Medium avatar

(19479)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:28 AM

Lol! I like that even better Nance! Good thinking!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:25 PM

SHAD could also mean "Supposedly Healthy American Diet" as so many are trying to do the right thing.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 14, 2012
at 09:03 PM

It's paleo, but only if you nap naked on the beach, enjoying the breeze.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 14, 2012
at 09:08 AM

And FWIW as a northern lass, we eat breakfast, dinner & tea ;-) My kids get confused as I lived in Lonfon and call dinner lunch and tea dinner, lol!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 14, 2012
at 09:07 AM

Probably not when tourism is such a big income earner... However, I'm pretty sure that the lack of naps is a recent think. And, we went to Majorca for our summer holiday this past year and apart from bread & milk, their diet is pretty wholesome. Ok, they do have fast foods too, but we stayed all inclusive in a hotel and our food was lovely. Any fried food used animal fat (lard) to cook in. Fresh fish every day, good meat, salads - ok, they were catering to tourists and did have desserts, mainly some kind of gelatinous type of pud or mousse.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:39 AM

Honestly I have never met a Spaniard who takes a siesta. They do though have a lunch and beer. And just in case anyone is wondering, as an Englishman no I don't have tea at teatime. (Only if the Queen invites me).

6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on January 13, 2012
at 10:27 PM

I agree too, but it would think that you would want to know that you are not napping as a result of poor nights sleep or reaction to poor dietary intake, etc. I've taken a few naps mid day and felt like a million bucks after but then noticed I couldn't sleep at night. I also never really slept as good at night as I did during the nap.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 13, 2012
at 09:09 PM

I'm pretty sure honey badgers nap. And they are totally paleo. Who cares if paleo people napped or not? If you can get away with it, go for it.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on January 13, 2012
at 08:34 PM

Napping is "low carb paleo"!

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on January 13, 2012
at 08:16 PM

I sure hope it is. Mmmm, naps.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on January 13, 2012
at 08:15 PM

Yes I know the Spanish and Italians do it but they also eat a Western diet.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:47 PM

+1 for SHAD! Avoids confusion with seasonal disorder.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Totally agree. Naps rock and tend to make my whole day better.

  • De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

    asked by

    (3747)
  • Views
    3.6K
  • Last Activity
    1430D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

9 Answers

9
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:40 PM

The lens of living more naturally in diet is:

"If you are hungry, eat more."

So why wouldn't you apply the same logic to sleep, sex, etc...

Ergo, "If you are sleepy, take a nap."

It's about listening to your body and doing what's natural. Sisson strongly advocates naps in his books and writing. I take naps more in the winter, especially if my kid has brought home the latest Kid Plague from school. I also tend to take a brief (20min) nap pretty much every day as soon as I am home from work, because I need a short period of time to "reset" my head after dealing with people professionally each day, not necessarily because I am tired.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Totally agree. Naps rock and tend to make my whole day better.

6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on January 13, 2012
at 10:27 PM

I agree too, but it would think that you would want to know that you are not napping as a result of poor nights sleep or reaction to poor dietary intake, etc. I've taken a few naps mid day and felt like a million bucks after but then noticed I couldn't sleep at night. I also never really slept as good at night as I did during the nap.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:36 PM

I'm sure humans in very warm climates have frequently napped. As long as you sleep well at night and feel well-rested and high energy, a nap is a great way to relax and recharge for the rest of your day.

I do think high-glycemic carbs such as doughnuts and desserts can create sluggishness/sleepiness and that's something different than choosing to enjoy a nap. It's important to know the difference.

Even as an enthusiastic eater of fruit I've never had whole foods create the effect of refined foods. I nap rarely and when I do it's great but I'm not really prone to afternoon crashes because I usually stay in a fast until about then.

1
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 13, 2012
at 08:52 PM

I would say you need to bear in mind the sleep they would have got. There would likely be frequent disturbances, so I wouldn't assume a typical night's sleep for you in your bed is equivalent to what they would have had. Also, in winter they'd be tucked up for hours on end but in the height of summer you're looking at a lot of daylight. Seems reasonable to me that they would have slept less (ie. while it was dark) and then tended to nap during the day. I'd also be quite surprised if there wasn't a tendency to nap after a big hunt/feast.

In fact, the whole concept of sleeping once per day may be erroneous. I wouldn't be hanging it all on diet in any case.

1
C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:43 PM

It seems a natural enough thing. The Spanish even have their own word for it.... Siesta! It specifically refers to a mid afternoon nap rather than any other time of day.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:39 AM

Honestly I have never met a Spaniard who takes a siesta. They do though have a lunch and beer. And just in case anyone is wondering, as an Englishman no I don't have tea at teatime. (Only if the Queen invites me).

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on January 13, 2012
at 08:15 PM

Yes I know the Spanish and Italians do it but they also eat a Western diet.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 14, 2012
at 09:08 AM

And FWIW as a northern lass, we eat breakfast, dinner & tea ;-) My kids get confused as I lived in Lonfon and call dinner lunch and tea dinner, lol!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 14, 2012
at 09:07 AM

Probably not when tourism is such a big income earner... However, I'm pretty sure that the lack of naps is a recent think. And, we went to Majorca for our summer holiday this past year and apart from bread & milk, their diet is pretty wholesome. Ok, they do have fast foods too, but we stayed all inclusive in a hotel and our food was lovely. Any fried food used animal fat (lard) to cook in. Fresh fish every day, good meat, salads - ok, they were catering to tourists and did have desserts, mainly some kind of gelatinous type of pud or mousse.

1
Medium avatar

(19479)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:43 PM

I personally experienced a higher level of mid-day sleepiness when I was consuming a SHAD diet (standard "healthy" american diet) which included lots of whole grains, low fat foods, meals or snacks every 2-3 hours (to keep my blood sugar "level") etc.

However, I didn't get as much sleep during the night (6-7 hours compared to 8-9 now) at that time either, so it is difficult to tie causation solely to diet.

It seems like regardless of what people did in the Paleolithic (or the Pleistocene for that matter) when we feel like we need to sleep it is safe to assume that we will benefit from some shut-eye.

Whether a household pet (dogs, cats, etc) or a wild animal (lions, chimps, etc.) napping seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

Fighting the impulse to sleep by force of will (or by ingesting stimulants such as caffeine) seems to be a uniquely human condition.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:47 PM

+1 for SHAD! Avoids confusion with seasonal disorder.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:25 PM

SHAD could also mean "Supposedly Healthy American Diet" as so many are trying to do the right thing.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:28 AM

Lol! I like that even better Nance! Good thinking!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:06 PM

I can't usually nap in the afternoon unless I am sick or got up much earlier than normal for whatever reason.

But in Mexico businesses shut down from about 2PM to 5PM so the owners can have their mid-day meal and a nap afterwards. This enables them to party and shoot off fireworks until well into the night, yet be fresh the next morning!

Choosing to nap or not is a personal thing just like the foods we choose to eat for our own individual circumstances.

0
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on January 13, 2012
at 11:12 PM

For me, naps pre-Paleo and post-Paleo are very different. Just as with mucked up hunger signals, naps felt mandatory while eating a SHAD (thanks, FED!). When I worked in an office, 3 o' clock would roll around and I was a total zombie. I used to get tea and a snack every day just to keep from passing out on my keyboard.

It was one of my favorite benefits of going Paleo to not need a nap all the time. Occasionally, I still feel the urge, and I generally take it to mean that I actually need a nap. So I give in when I can. But it affects my nighttime sleep much more now than it did then, so I have to be careful, because I can really knock out for 2+ hours. Thankfully, a toddler is a great wake-up call.

0
Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on January 13, 2012
at 09:44 PM

I was never able to fall asleep during the day when I ate a wheat centric diet, no matter how exhausted I was. When I cut the wheat, I was able to sleep better at night, and I can now occasionally nap. I think my mind is just more relaxed eating paleo.

0
Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 13, 2012
at 09:38 PM

Very definitely! As the Boston Globe points out, we were born to nap:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/naps/

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!