April 30, 2023

Z - Zzz (Naps to Heal from Depression) + BONUS


Napping has been proven to have many benefits, from relieving stress to improving test scores in students. By taking 20 to 30-minute naps in the middle of serious studying, students were able to retain more of what they had studied than students who didn’t take a nap.

Naps also can replenish our energy, but the key is to take a short nap. If you nap for an hour or more, you can wake up feeling more tired than when you laid down. Lying in bed, however, for 20 to 30 minutes is much more restful. All you need is a short nap to revive you for the rest of your day.

When you are suffering from depression, naps may be necessary. Many of us who suffer from depression can struggle with sleeping at night. I would lay in bed for hours, tossing and turning, while my brain yakked on and on about every topic, analyzed the day I had, and thought about the next day. By the time I finally fell asleep, my sleep wasn’t truly restful. In my dreams, I felt awake, as if I lived them.

Each day, I was extremely tired, hardly able to function. The only thing I could do was take a nap, and I did. I’d sleep for a couple of hours, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Yes, I lost a lot of time during the day, but I needed that sleep. After my nap, I’d finally be able to get work some done, and I made the most of it. I accomplished a lot, so no one knew I was experiencing depression or took long naps. No one ever saw me lagging behind, either, and I wanted to keep it that way.

If you find yourself in the same position, do not feel guilty for taking naps. You need it. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for napping, either. Tell them about your struggle and how tired you are. If they care, they will see your physical and mental exhaustion and encourage you to get some rest.


One thing that helps me to focus my mind at night, so it doesn’t jump from this to that, is thinking about my current work-in-progress. This is my favorite bedtime ritual. I’ve done it since the age of twelve, when I started to write my first novel. It’s almost like daydreaming with your eyes closed and while you are stretched out in bed. Granted, this does keep me awake for a while, but I have never been one to fall asleep quickly. I need something that’ll tire out my brain. (As though all my writing and thinking during the day isn’t enough…it isn’t.)

The bonus to this is the wonderful ideas I get. I concoct whole conversations this way and come up with scenes and plot twists. All it takes is pondering my story, my characters, where I am currently in the story, and what I know will be coming next. It’s so much fun for me.

If you have a hard time keeping yourself from agonizing over the day or worrying about tomorrow, think about the story you’re working on. Let your characters occupy your thoughts and talk to you. Imagine what could happen. See the potential. Any sparks that come from this fantasizing are meant to be. I tend to remember these sparks, but you may want to have a notebook and pen handy to jot down notes to remind yourself of your fresh, new ideas.

Now, snuggle up in bed. I give you full permission.

More, give yourself full permission. 



Z - Zota Family

The Zota family is the family that adopted Avrianna as a new born, after she was found floating in the Aurora Diamond.

There was Peter Zota, her adoptive father, Laurali Zota, her adoptive mother (Sassy's sister and Grandy's daughter), and Déjà Zota, her adoptive sister.

The only Zota we get to meet in any of the Avrianna Heavenborn novellas is Déjà because, unfortunately, Peter and Laurali had passed away when Avrianna was young. What happened and how it impacted Avrianna is something that I dig more in to in Book One, the full-length novel that follows the novellas exclusive to Patreon.

One day, Book One will have it's time and Peter and Laurali's stories (as well as Avrianna's story) will be told in completion.

Until then...

To read Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon, become a patron for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.


  1. I am at Y since life as a rare blood courier takes precedence over my prose! :-) Naps worked for President Reagan, and they work for me as well. May each succeeding day prove brighter for you. https://rolandyeomans.blogspot.com/2023/04/y-is-for-why.html

  2. As someone who deals with the long term consequences of depression, I find that doing whatever soothes, refreshes, and allows me to keep on keeping on to just dandy. I find that having a schedule for sleep is the most important I can do all by myself to tamp down depression. The other thing I do is to be sure to take my prescription everyday. I will return.

    1. Both of those are very important self-care habits to schedule into our days.

  3. Jamie (Jannghi.blogspot.com):
    I agree, as someone who has depression. Though daytime naps sometimes mess up my nighttime sleep schedule.

    1. Daytime naps can do that. Limiting the length of the nap to a short rest could prevent that.

  4. I like to do a body-check meditation to shut down my mind before bed -- otherwise I'll toss and turn for hours thinking about everything that needs to be done.
    Great A-Z series!

    Ronel visiting for Z:
    My Languishing TBR: Z
    Zoo: Faery Frogs

  5. Congratulations of completing AtoZ 2023 and thanks so much for your visits/comments on my blog. I got overwhelmed by the writing, so need to catch up on comments. Thanks for the nighttime visioning suggestion -- will have to try it.

    1. You're so very welcome, Molly! And thank you for visiting my blog and leaving comments.

  6. After completing the A-Z, you've earned a nap. I often take naps on Sunday afternoon, especially when raining (like today) and so walking is out. And sometimes, when working hard, I'll lean back in my seat at my desk and nap for 10-20 minutes. But I tend to get 7 and a half ours of sleep every night.

    1. Naps on a rainy Sunday afternoon are perfect.

  7. I tend to trust my body when it tells me it needs a nap, and it doesn't seem to interfere with my night sleep. Congratulations on completing the challenge.

  8. I used to do that--plot novels when I couldn't fall asleep. It's a great use of the time. (But then I found someone who was able to fix the falling asleep problem, and now I fall asleep pretty quickly. It was a trade off, but I definitely prefer being able to fall asleep.)

    Just yesterday on the radio the DJ talked about a study that NASA did to find the optimal length for a nap. It's 26 minutes.

  9. Thanks for visiting. It was fun to work a-to-z with you.