Notes on Naps

It’s 3:00 PM on a hot summer day. I’m flipping through channels and a yawn creeps up. My eyes gather water and with a blink, a couple tears are slipping down my cheeks. My surroundings become foggy and distant. It’s nap time.

So, I’m a cat at heart– naps are my bliss. Something about the way sleep pulls at me and it feels so fulfilling to give in to it. I feel especially nap-inclined in the middle of the day, when the sun drones on in the sky, barreling down on the earth in a dull waterfall of rays. It lulls me. Of course, my napping habits know no limits. I have napped at 10 AM, after waking up at 7 and completing a pertinent task. I have also napped at 8 PM while I waited for my desired television program to air at 10. One thing about being busy is that it makes you creative with your naps.

Energy used to abound in me, so as a child I did not appreciate naps. “They are unnecessary,” I felt. “You need sleep– you are a growing girl,” they told me. Well if this is the case, I should have grown two feet in the past year!

Sometimes naps wind up not as refreshing as they feel when we initiate them. Sometimes you fall asleep chilly and snuggled under blankets in a cozy cuddle, but then you wake up with sweat coating your back and forehead, and you kick the blankets off in a hot panic because you now feel stuffy and suffocated. Sometimes you have an hour between your last class and the beginning of your work shift, and you need a quick rest to recharge yourself, but you wake up with a frantic jolt as your alarm pierces your shut-eye; alas, the time was too short and you spend your shift craving more time with slumber as you labor with a lingering post-nap headache. Sometimes you yawn and yawn all morning, and when you finally have a moment to nap, your mind is too dizzy from every stimuli you encountered in the past month and you’re unable to succumb to its embrace, which is the truest misfortune. Sometimes you fall asleep and revel in the nap so beautifully that you’re unconscious for hours, and when you finally wake up you feel like you were plopped into a different space-time continuum because you’re entirely disoriented (“Where am I? What country is this? Oh my god, it’s 2025 and I missed the season finale of the Bachelorette! And I must be late for work! Oh, my bad– it’s still Tuesday afternoon”).

With all that knowledge about the shortcomings of naps, sometimes it’s not so smart to take a nap, as much as I hate to say it. If you have enough nap experience, you can usually tell when it will result in more pain than pleasure. If it’s super hot or you’re dehydrated, a nap will definitely transport you into a future where you are cranky.

Which brings me to the next aspect of naps: crankiness. Some people cannot emerge from naps in good moods. It’s as if they are so distraught to be removed from sleep that they are going to take it out on their awakeness. Some people are okay after naps but God So Help the unfortunate fool to force their nap to come to an untimely end. Sometimes you can’t help but be cranky after a nap if it wasn’t the satisfying wink of sleep you had hoped.

My favorite place to nap is my bed, as it is perfectly customized to my ultimate standard of comfort. Suitable alternatives include my couch and the car (so long as I am not driving the car). However, as a college student, you learn to also be creative with your nap locations. As my bed is not always the most opportune spot for a nap, this leads to naps being had around campus, such as on bean bags, public couches, and generally any available chair, booth, or desk. I have noticed some like to photograph fellow napping college students, but I disagree with this. It may be funny to share it with your friends and give it a silly caption, but let sleeping students lie, no? You’ll be in their socks one day.

Actually, the thing about socks is……….

Whoops, I dozed off there. I think we should break for a nap now.

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