Napped

It was an odd weekend. I napped twice in the span of three days. I do not nap; it’s something I try to avoid at all costs, all thoughts of napping forbidden! (Though, I’ll admit, I think longingly of leisurely afternoons spent napping more often than I should.) If I do nap, if I cannot keep up my defenses and I go down, I wake up a monster. I despise my weakness, I lament my lost time, I am worse for the wear. But sometimes, sometimes, I cannot help myself…

The first nap, circa Friday late afternoon, was expected. I was exhausted from the graduation trip and had hardly slept the previous two nights. This nap occurred on the couch, with the lights on, so you could say I was not fully committed to the nap itself. I was waiting for someone to say, “Are you napping?” at which I would shoot up and deny it. When I woke up, maybe an hour or so later, I shook it off and pretended it never happened. The first nap was a little hiccup in my otherwise motivated weekend existence. No one would know any better.

Saturday the writing project found itself completed a day ahead of schedule, which meant I had all of Sunday, an entire day!, for my own writing, for anything at all that I wanted, a day, a whole day. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t decide what to work on. On Sunday I woke late—another hiccup, but I ignored it—I spent an hour reading at the coffee shop, and then I went to my weekend writing spot.

…Where I got progressively more and more tired, until, come 4:30 in the afternoon, I found myself at home, in the loft bed, out cold. The nap itself was light. I was aware that I was napping, I was angry at myself for napping, but then this faded, the awareness, the anger, and I was just gliding through a faint sleep, not feeling much of anything. I woke from this nap easily, feeling—what is the word?—refreshed.

That’s right; the nap worked. I was somehow less tired, less grumpy, and less stressed out.

So I ask myself: why the hatred of naps? Was I forced to have daily shut-eye at certain times of the day as a child? Not that I recall; my mother didn’t even give me a bedtime. Did I nap through an important event in my life and regret it ever since? I will never know. Does this have something to do with that month I had mono? Perhaps.

I’m not saying that napping will become a regular part of my weekend. I don’t want a nap habit. But if I’m tired next Sunday, you might just find my head down for an hour, maybe two. If anyone asks me outright if I’m napping I will obviously deny it—but you and I will know the truth.

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5 comments

  1. I too have a hatred of naps, not that they don’t occasionally sneak up on me. My problem with naps is that they usually don’t refresh me, I wake up groggy. The reason for this is that I tended to nap later in the day. A nap is healthy when taken in the early afternoon. The problem with the late afternoon nap is that your body is more likely to lapse into deep REM sleep and if you do, you’ll be groggy. A nap in early afternoon should be light and should therefore refresh.

  2. OMG, I thought it was just me. If I go down (and if I can get to sleep) when I wake up, I just run around like a mad person feeling like I have to catch up!

  3. … I relate to this entry so much, I do not know what else to say. I too, thought it was just me. Naps are overrated nuisances and I have the hardest time forgiving myself for having them on the rare occassions that I have them!

  4. I always loathed napping myself… not so much for feeling overwhelmed or behind, but because i always awoke so groggy and discombobulated and out of dimension… mind you, now that I have a child I really appreciate the rare nap I can fit in…

  5. Naps are great. Whenever I can I throw some relaxing music on and doze for 20 minutes or so (no longer!) in the afternoon, usually around 4 or 4:30. It’s going to be a tough day when I have a job that I can’t set my own hours at. Here is an old article about napping and here is a relatively
    new one about the healthy benefits of napping, especially in working men.

    Don’t underestimate the power of the siesta.

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