The pleasure of napping

January 26, 2013

As a 24-hour, breakneck-speed society, we aren’t getting enough sleep.

Seriously, take a look around you. TV and magazine ads are constant, telling us we need sleep medication to solve insomnia, promising deeper, restful, sleep with drug-infused substances!

And look at our choices offered in ads for mattresses. How can one make a decision in 15 minutes by lying on a mattress in a store? As tired as we are, anything would feel restful.

I can see why we become desperate in the mattress store or the sleep aid aisle of the drug store. Look at the tired, sleep-deprived workforce in offices, stores, the auto repair shop, grocery store; everyone is yawning, nodding off, dead-dog tired. On buses, the subway, behind the wheel of our trucks and cars; we are half asleep. We long for restful sleep, just another five minutes after the alarm sounds.

What we need is a nap.

That’s right, naps. Take a bit of advice from the famous nappers, the Europeans. They nap every day. At noon, just after lunch, they close up and take a nap! All of Europe shuts down for an afternoon rest. They close stores, restaurants, offices and stop the presses to take a nap. They awake refreshed, ready to work, more productive and happier.


Yet we Americans scoff, drag our feet, believe we might be looked upon as lazy or shiftless if we nap. So we deprive ourselves of rest, relaxation and a healthier, happier existence.

Sleep experts have determined, through proven studies, that over half of the human race needs a nap. We’re irritable, sickly, less productive and grouchy. Listen up grouchy people. You need a short snooze; a deep sleep of swirling currents of surrender.

Try the long winter nap. It’s famous, and this is the time of year to indulge.

Sink down into a comfy couch or recliner, have a good book in hand, a cozy blanket, perhaps a fire in the fireplace and just drift off, shoo all the cares and worries of the week out of your mind and simply luxuriate in a quiet nap for 20 minutes.

How about a rainy day nap? A restful, peaceful drift away rest, awaken feeling nurtured on a drab, gray day.

The cat nap? Everyone needs one several times a week. Named so for the cat who knows how to slumber away in a sunny window or on a cool patio stretched out in peaceful repose, cats nap just about anywhere; we should too.

Nod off at your desk with your head down, drift off for 20 minutes and wake refreshed, brighter, able to work the rest of the day more productively, a lighter mood around you.

And the hammock nap? Nothing is more famous than this summer snooze, lying in the shade, suspended in air, peaceful beyond description, luxurious, restful, a sensuous feeling of being asleep on a tropical isle.


The beach nap is a good as it gets, dozing in the sun, salty air filling your nostrils is like chocolate; you can’t get enough of it. The sound of waves against the shore, dreaming of being on a tropical island is like nothing else on earth.

A nap after Thanksgiving dinner is a must, rests the soul and stomach, frees the mind and makes you feel useful, ready to get back to nature, play a game of touch football or chop a cord of wood!

Winston Churchill was a famous “napper.” He took one every day. One of the most productive, decision makers of the modern world, died a peaceful man at age 91, even after a life time of tipping the brandy bottle and smoking cigars every day. He listed napping as one of his favorite pastimes.

I’m ready to sink into my recliner for a little heavenly napping. How about you?

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