The importance of afternoon nap in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 , , , , 0

Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes an afternoon nap (11 AM-1 PM) as an extremely beneficial factor in maintaining our well-being. If you take a nap around these hours during the day you can easily restore energy and enhance work efficiency. As you can see on the picture below Chinese are truly nap masters – they can sleep literally everywhere. At start, it does look funny and pretty incredible for Westerners, but once they learn about benefits of having a midday nap, they quickly put aside their prejudices and start enjoying a healthy 30 minutes naps too.



Modern research discovers what Chinese Medicine has known for thousands of years: the functions of human body’s organs decline to the lowest at midnight (12 AM-4 AM), and people feel most tired during midday (11 Am-1 PM). Hence, establishing sound sleeping habits in accordance with the natural sleeping rhythm is essential in improving the quality of our sleep and maintaining good health. Statistics show that afternoon nap & proper midnight sleep decreases the possibility of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in the elderly group of people. Once again, we come back to our roots and try live with accordance to nature and its rhythm. Living with accordance to your natural cycle is a crucial concept in TCM, and I discussed it in my previous articles about keeping a balance (yin & yang) and living with natural cycles of the day & year.

As you see, essentially an ancient Chinese Medicine does not differ much from what Modern Medicine says.  Read about the new health research: Here’s your health excuse to take a nap

Traditional Chinese Medicine tips on sleeping hygiene:

1. Bed & mattress. Make sure your bed is not higher than the knee and the texture of mattress is moderate. Too soft mattress (like a sofa), may cause passive tension of the muscles.  A moderate mattress will keep the normal physiological curvature of the spine, relax the muscles and relieve your fatigue.

2. Cushion. Is your cotton-padded cushion thick but soft, made of pure cotton, washed and aired frequently? That’s great! Keep up doing great job 🙂 Remember to buy a pillow which height is at most the distance from the shoulder to the neck of the same side. A good pillow should be a little long, springy and of moderate hardness. Choose the pillowcase made of pure cotton. If you want something more fancy choose a herbal pillow filled with aromatic herbs to relax your tired mind, like chrysanthemum pillow, gypsum pillow, medical stone pillow, millet pillow, mung bean pillow or self-massaging pillow.

3. Pyjama. If your pajama has a soft texture, is made of pure cotton, with natural colors, you got it right again! In summer, silk is the best choice, but during winter a fine corduroy one will do the best job.

4. Room. The space of the sleeping place that has 15 square meters is more than enough. if you’re not in your home, make sure that you can take a nap in a dark and quiet environment with a small window or vent opened to let fresh air in. Oxygen will relax and calm your brain.

Now, have a great nap! 🙂

But before you go to sleep , leave me your comment below!


This post is also available in: polski

  • madi

    Hi Anna! I loved your post, and laughed when I really did have the things you said “great job” about. Anyways, I’ve been on the market for some new pajamas, and corduroy sounds like it would be so comfy and warm. Do you have any brands that you recommend? I’ve tried searching online and cant find many options.


    • annareco

      Thanks Madi! I think that my all time fav pyjamas brand is OYSHO. It was the love from the first sight 🙂 I think I have been using it for 15 years now.