Napercise: The Workout of Your Dreams

Napercise Feature

We’re here!

Kicking up our (yawn) Louboutins as we take on those awaited back-burner projects (yawn) to revel in new adventures and relationships and (yawn)…

Yes, we’re sleep deprived.

As we combine all that’s good in life with the female challenges of hormone fluctuations, menopause, poor dietary habits, schedules, family, and stress, we have the perfect recipe for a poor night’s sleep. In fact, the CDC warns that one-third of the entire US population is getting less than the required amount of sleep for good health and well-being.

Tired Woman“Adults who were short sleepers (less than 7 hours per 24-hour period) were more likely to report 10 chronic health conditions compared to those who got enough sleep…7 hours or more in a 24 hour period…”

Just ask yourself. When was the last time you awoke on time without an alarm, feeling refreshed and not relying on coffee to make it through the morning or worse, afternoon?

Supporting this in his new book, “Why We Sleep, Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams,” Matthew Walker, PhD, neuroscientist and world renown sleep expert, delves into how the health issues with which we are most concerned, be it depression, heart disease, or obesity, stem from a lack of quality sleep.

Dr. Walker proposes: If there was a treatment to feel happier, look better, ward off disease, and enhance memory, would you be interested?

With our gender leading the pack in Alzheimer’s disease, who wouldn’t? Don’t we busy ‘in the know’ women want to know how to live longer, quality lives? So, if you’re groggy, yawning, barely getting through the day again, and not getting your full night’s sleep, you might consider trying the latest in fitness trendsNapercise. Exercise and a nap.

New to the fitness scene in the last 18 months, a Napercise class combines 15 minutes of stretching with a 45 minute nap. The David Lloyd Clubs of London began the trend, targeting sleep-deprived parents, claiming to “reinvigorate the mind, the body and even burn the odd calorie.”

Capitalizing on sleep hygiene as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, the nap portion of the class includes donning a sleep mask and listening to relaxing background sounds in a cool 65 degree sleep-inducing atmosphere. Nestled in billows of comfy bedding, one is induced to drift away into a restorative REM sleep stage, during which the brain actually replenishes. Awaken, stretch, and you’re on your way rejuvenated.

Until the trend becomes more well-known and accepted, New York’s Hanson Fitness, Soho, seems to be the place to give it a try. Harry Hanson, trainer and owner, offers this carefully designed class every few weeks. Or, create your own Napercise hour and design a dreamy night’s sleep with these recommendations.

*Always consult your health care provider to discuss the best sleep advice for you.


Check out “Why We Sleep, Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams,” Matthew Walker, PhD. Don’t worry if you get sleepy or fall asleep reading this New York Times best seller. Dr. Walker quips he will be genuinely complimented having accomplished his goal.


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