Monday, June 9, 2014

To Nap or Not To Nap?

That is the question. Actually, I guess the question is more along the lines of: As a non-kid (I started to write 'grown-up', but since I still think to myself at odd moments, 'When I grow up, I'll ...' and then wonder when, exactly, my psyche thinks this will happen), do you dig naps?

See, my background is of the 'hit the ground running' variety. The weekends weren't for sacking out on the couch; they were for getting sh*t done. Errands, projects, playtime, you name it, it was high intensity most of the time, with occasional detours to read a book. Which felt deliciously naughty because I wasn't out Doing Something. If I took a nap, I was either sick or under deadline and pulling all-nighters interspersed with half-hour catnaps to recharge the mental batteries. 

Enter Arizona, who is a Nap Champion. Family lore holds that he was the Easiest Baby Ever, and as a young man once fell asleep leaned up against a wall. Sitting up? No problem. Get him anywhere close to horizontal and it's game over. When we first started spending extended time together (our first date lasted twenty-four ours, our second a weekend), I dismissed mono and chalked it up to him having a physically demanding marina job. Over time, though, I figured out that he simply adores napping. A lazy Sunday afternoon nap for him is like me sneaking time to read a book. As far as he's concerned, he works hard during the week (at a desk job now, but a stressful one), and this is his reward. 

Over time, I have consciously slowed down my weekends and even experimented with the nap-as-pleasure concept. However, I'm one of those people where, if I don't really need a nap (see above, sick or under deadline), then they usually leave me groggy, cranky, and unsure of what day it is when I wake up. Usually, anyway. This past weekend, after a not-very-strenuous morning out on the river with the kayaks, I came home, announced that I needed a nap, and proceeded to sleep for the entire afternoon. And you know what? It felt awesome.

I don't think it'll become quite the habit for me that it is for Arizona, but I'm definitely starting to see the up-side to this concept. Maybe some more experiments are in order. So how about you? Are you a napper or a weekend whirling dervish? A catnapper? And why is a kidnapper someone who abducts a person and a catnapper is someone who takes a short nap? (Or did I just make up a word?) 


  1. I used to adore napping - then I became a wife and mother ;-) Working full time prior to those two things I would still enjoy a nap or two - now a nap is a gift. I like you am up running like a chicken with my head cut off just to get things done throughout the weekend; often dreaming of the nap that will never come.

    1. Hm. I had wondered if the nap-no-nap line would divide down the 'has kids at home' line. Sound like it may do. Love thinking of a nap as a gift, Bobbie Jo!

  2. I'm all about the power nap. I guess I never broke the habit formed in kindergarten. Isn't it funny how naps are punishment when we're kids & a treat when we're (supposed) adults?

  3. I'm like Arizona. I can nap anywhere. I think I have the sleep needs of a toddler. I get really cranky if I can't shut my eyes for twenty minutes or so in the afternoon. I used to feel guilty about it but I've decided that if Leonardo, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and JFK napped, I'm in good company!

  4. I work 12 hour shifts, (health care) and some days instead of eating lunch, i go out to my car and take a nice 30 minute nap. It helps boost my energy for the rest of the shift!