I just did something I havenít done since I was in preschool, and lemme tell you, it felt just about as good doing it now as it did back then.

OK, were it not for the big, bold title of my column giving it away, you mayíve thought that what I did was walk out into waist-deep water at the beach and pee in the ocean because the bathrooms were just too far away. But obviously thatís not the case.

What I did was take a nap.

Right there in the middle of my day, I just stopped cold, laid down and took a nap.

Now, the fact that I did this immediately after a ten-mile run is more or less irrelevant. I didnít actually have to lie down. I couldíve slogged my way through the rest of the afternoon, but my body was begging and pleading with my brain to hit pause. So I did. And much to my surprise, it was incredibly revealing.

Did I actually fall asleep at 2 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon in August on the chaise on my deck? Of course not. Donít be ridiculous. Who can do that?! But I think I came pretty close, and thatís epic for me.

Actually, just the simple fact that I laid down in a horizontal position, with both my feet off the floor, right smack in the middle of the afternoon, with my eyes more or less closed, was a major event for me.

See, like most people, more often than not I tend to muscle through my days. And because Iím a working mom, with a big fat list of stuff I have to do every day, there isnít an awful lot of nap time built into my schedule. Thatís just the reality. Not to mention the fact that even if I could carve out 11 minutes to sneak into a dark linen closet and spoon with some big, thirsty bath towels, Iíd never be able to fall asleep.

Thatís because my big problem, like a lot of other people I know, is that Iíve never found the off switch for my brain, so naps tend to be worthless for me.

I mean, whereís the value in lying there, wide awake but with your eyes closed, stressing over all the dress shirts you still need to iron and all the electronic bill payments that still need to be teed up?

Look, I know that naps are proven to have a pretty good list of benefits. Like if you ask the folks down at the National Sleep Foundation, theyíll tell you that naps are proven to restore alertness, enhance performance creativity, cognitive function and memory, and reduce mistakes and accidents. Not to mention, theyíre a quick and easy way of getting some relaxation and rejuvenating yourself so you can forge on.

In my own life, though, I had more or less written naps off completely after the first grade, thinking that unless I could fall into some sort of significant REM-like state every time they were useless. And because of it, Iíve kept them off my lineup all this time. Because for me, being able to clear my mind on demand and drift off into a delicious little sleep cocoon has just never been possible for me.

But what I learned today was that I was wrong.

I donít know, maybe the stars were all aligned perfectly to enable me to see the true benefits of just stopping and resting. Or maybe I was just paying attention at the right time and actually listening to my body, which I also seldom do. Whatever it was, my spontaneous little siesta made me realize that itís just as important for us moms and dads and grownups to stop and recharge as it is for kids.
Just think of it like this Ö when your cell phoneís power is depleted, it goes into battery-save mode and loses all its functionality until itís charged again. Well, weíre the same way.
Most of us can usually get by on a partial charge. But even a little bit of juice (or, in this case, rest) gives us enough power to keep going. It doesnít have to be 100 percent.

For me, the end result was that my little time-out refreshed me, even in spite of the fact that I never really fell asleep. And because of it, Iíve discovered is that there are rejuvenating properties hidden within the essence of a nap, even if you donít actually nod off. The thing is, I let my body rest and even though my mind was still cranking away, the downtime was beneficial because it put my body at rest, if only for a short time.

So while I absolutely still believe that naps are critical for the development of young kids ó physically and cognitively ó Iím now a believer that theyíre not just for kids anymore.

The other thing Iíve realized is that maybe itís a good thing after all that, as an adult, I can never seem to truly fall asleep when I nap. I mean, can you imagine one of my kids walking in the house and finding me curled up like a fetus on the couch with my thumb in my mouth, drool running down my cheek? Iíd be all over Instagram in less than ninety seconds.

Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at itiswhatitiscolumn.wordpress.com. She is also the author of ďLIFE: It Is What It Is,Ē available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.