Nap (April A~Z Challenge)

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My husband was a napper. He could fall asleep on the beach, at a drive-in movie, even on the couch at my parent’s house after Sunday dinner.When he worked as a contractor, he’d sometimes come home from work in the early afternoon, not for lunch, but to take a nap. It used to drive me crazy!

“How can you possibly sleep in the middle of the day,” I would ask him, incredulous. “How can you sleep when the sun is out?” I struggled, even, to fall asleep at night. If something woke me up, no matter the time, that was the end of my night’s rest. There was no way I could sleep during the day, unless I hadn’t gone to bed until morning. That wasn’t napping, but just a skewed schedule.

Then, I started working the morning shift as a server. I had to be up at the crack of dawn, and I ran miles in that restaurant, delivering meals to the customers. If you’ve worked as a server, you know it involves a great deal of mental calisthenics as well as physical labor. Timing, memorization, organization and diplomacy all come into play, while hauling large trays full of heavy dishes back and forth from the kitchen.

My shift ended at 2 PM. My daughters remember that as soon as I got home, I’d put my feet up and say, “I want to just sit here and not smile for a while.” Sometimes, if they were at school, or away for the afternoon, I’d take a nap. By the time they were grown, and I could nap whenever I chose to, I had come to realize what a true pleasure it is.

From the time I was a small child, I’ve fought bedtime, and I’ve always had trouble falling asleep at night. There’s something frightening to me about giving in to sleep. Fear of death? I don’t know. But is has followed me through life.

Just after midday, though, when the afternoon sun streams in and warms the sofa, when the bright sun chases away any fears, when the background noise of TV or radio reassures…a nap is a treasure! More restful, often, than a whole night’s sleep, a nap renews and refreshes, and hands back the rest of the day with energy to spare.

My job these days doesn’t allow time for midday naps. I don’t get home from work until late in the afternoon. The dogs need a walk, then, and attention. I have to get to dinner, and chores, and other obligations. Now and then, though, when I have a day at home…when maybe I didn’t get a good night’s rest…and the sun is streaming in through the window…I’ll wrap an afghan around myself, and lay down for the rare indulgence of a nice afternoon nap. And what a pleasure it is!

 

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

10 responses »

  1. I love to nap, Cindy, and long ago got past any guilt I might have felt about that love. I wrote a post some time ago about the health benefits of a power nap, but I won’t bother including the link since you don’t need to be convinced.
    I usually nap on my bed but this weekend, when the storm was raging outside and the woodstove in my library was throwing off such beautiful heat and light, I too grabbed an afghan and curled up to read in front of the fire. The reading didn’t last long. The napping was delicious.

  2. The thing is, I can’t nap. When I do it turns into a full-fledged sleep, which I can’t afford in the middle of the day – most days, that is. I envy people who can lay down and nap for an hour (or less!) and wake up refreshed. When I lay down and close my eyes I’m either still wide awake or out for the count (3-4 hours) and wake up groggy instead of refreshed.

    Maybe some day I’ll get the hang of napping. The concept quite appeals to me!

  3. I find napping a delicious treat, although sometimes a real necessity when I’m suddenly overcome by such a wave of unexpected tiredness I can’t manage to keep my eyes open for one second more. I’ve always felt particularly lucky that I’ve never had trouble sleeping – I’ve seen how hard insomnia can be.

  4. I like to nap with my cats, but I hate the groggy feeling afterwards. I think there were studies done to determine the prime time for napping. And it’s probably not late in the afternoon. 🙂

    • I agree. When I got home from work shortly after two PM, I could nap for an hour or a little more, and wake up feeling fine, with half the day still ahead of me. Any later, and it just seems like early bedtime. Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

    • Oh, my husband did napping better than anyone I knew! Now that I’m older, divorced, and look back on it, I wonder if he didn’t have some kind of sleep disorder! I did learn from him, though, that a nap is a luscious indulgence. Thanks for reading, Heather, and for your comments!

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