The Nap

by lulujane on January 1, 2009

Having explored many promising solutions without much success, I have had sleep disorders for many years – yes, more than one. As a result my sleep is frequently broken, fragmented, disturbed. Rarely do I wake feeling rested and refreshed, like maybe once or twice a year. However, I am grateful for whatever in my body chemistry allows me to be enthusiastic, alert, energetic and productive in my daily life.

While growing up I have no memory of ever seeing my mother or father taking a nap. This had given me a skewed belief that anyone who naps during the day is lazy. I am grateful for the shift in perception I now have around this.

I have a friend whom I have occasionally caught napping. I might show up at her door unannounced and I observe her struggling to balance herself, as she staggers to greet me. I ask “I’m sorry, did I wake you?” Her most common response was “no, I was just resting my eyes”. Sure, sure, o.k. The same storyline goes for a drug induced sounding voice (without the drugs of course) answering the phone telling me I didn’t wake her, that she was just resting her eyes. My goodness, she wakes each day around 4:30 a.m. to go to work. A rest at the end of the work day seems like the natural thing to do. Give yourself a break here.

napping

We had a chuckle about this today when she asked me how I slept last night. Based on my response she suggested that I might want to set aside time to just lie down and rest my eyes each day, thinking that might restore my energy and alertness. I have attempted this in the past but due to lack of success at reaching a nap stage, haven’t embraced it as part of a routine. I am now thinking that if I do it as a daily ritual it may have some cumulative benefit. The more we talked about the nap thing we found humour about her denial response about whether she had been napping. Somewhere, somebody taught us that we should have shame about napping during the day and I humourosly challenged her usual response to my ‘did I wake you’ query.

I have another friend, one of my best friends in fact, who is 85 years young. She knows her limits and it is part of her routine to take a cat nap when she needs it. When driving in the car on holiday one year I wanted her to see Sanibel Island, and as we were driving over the bridge from the mainland she just zonked out – like really out of it. I didn’t wake her as I drove along Sanibel singly taking in the devastation from the powerful storms that ripped through the area a year before. She was awake for the return trip, so in the long run I don’t think she missed much. Initially it annoyed me a bit that she went away and left me to drive alone for a while. It didn’t seem polite.  But from her I have learned that it is a self respecting pursuit to ‘take a moment’ when you need it. She listens to what her body is telling her to do instead of just pushing through it like I have done for most of my life. I am in awe of my friend’s intelligence, sense of humour, energy and wisdom. I learn much from observing how she takes good care of herself.

In my earlier years working a full time job and raising an active family of five sons I could have used a good nap, but my preconceived thought that it was a lazy pursuit kept me from it. I now see great wisdom in the power of a nap – hence power napping. And even if I can’t fall asleep during the day, in 2009 I hope to make ‘resting my eyes’ for a few minutes  part of a daily healthy routine.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>