Aug 12 2015

Learning to Nap

When I retired I did not know how to nap. You probably won’t either. As a child, the very idea filled you with horror, maybe because it was also referred to as being ‘put down.’ Of course that made you cry. The result is that you recoiled from it all your working life. It seemed somehow weak to even admit to the concept of sleeping at night much less in the afternoon.

generic nap slumber photoBut in your sixties? A nap begins to sound like a slice of heaven, just free for the asking. Of course, I soon realized some remedial work would be needed. The nap concept didn’t just come back naturally. I had to coax it along.

Here are some of the things I have found essential to becoming an expert napper:

1. Nap in your own bed. A nap in anyone else’s is NOT a nap. For a successful nap, you really can’t give a shit how you look. Slobber trails, fat rolls, nose noise be damned.

2. Remove your clothes. It doesn’t matter what you put on but take off whatever you are wearing. Don’t let your body think it is just down for a moment. If you do, it will keep one metaphorical eye open, staying as ready to go as a chambered round. Your body must believe it’s in storage for a long haul.

3. Move your electronic beep, burble, belch or other ringtone as far away from you as you can. Somewhere you can’t hear it at all. Death Valley comes to mind. Do not let the curiosity factor keep you awake. I guarantee you have not won a million bucks.

4. Drink a large glass of water immediately before lying down. This will guarantee that your nap will not stretch until night time. If it does, it is not a nap.

5. Dim the lights but don’t go for total darkness. It’s too hard to achieve at this time of year anyway. Besides, you’ll just worry about what non-nocturnal sort of thing might be crawling on you.

6. Give Fluffy a new chew toy to keep him quiet. Better yet, duct tape him to a table leg far away from your bedroom.

7. Don’t think you’ll just drop off to dreamland effortlessly. Do something that will focus your wandering mind. Read a totally unstimulating book. Play Freecell. Whatever makes you want to shut your eyes to avoid any more of it (warning: do not drop your iPad or Kindle on your nose … this is counterproductive to napping).

If you practice any of the above tips, you will become a better napper. Practice them all, and you will become an expert ready to collapse anytime anywhere. This is a handy feat. It might be the only thing that will get you through a theatre showing of something like Mad Max: Fury Road.


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