I Need a Nap

I Need a Nap

Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2010

I'm a big napper. I need a nap to function, especially on Sundays. In fact, with my work schedule some days, I need a nap just to make it to dinner time. I'll come home from work, turn on the TV, and pretty soon, I'm snoring on the couch.

This nap will recharge my batteries enough that I can stay up until 2:00. Then I wake up around 7:00 the next morning, go to work, and start all over again, promising that tonight, for the first time in months, I will go to bed early.

Instead, I sleep in on Saturdays, which means I end up staying up until 2:00 again. Then, when I have to get up early for church on Sundays, I'm right back where I started. This explains why most atheists are so well-rested (the agnostics are never sure if they're tired or not).

This pattern makes Sunday afternoon naps crucial. If I don't get one, it throws my whole schedule off for the week, and I'm never quite refreshed.

I was never a napper when I was a little kid. I hated naps. I didn't need to sleep, didn't want to sleep, didn't try to sleep. Sometimes, when my mom thought I needed a nap, she would lay down with me on her bed, and fall asleep within five minutes. I would wait until she was out, and then ninja crawl out of her room, and back to my room where I played until she woke up an hour later, thinking I must have gotten up a few minutes before her.

As an adult, I love naps. I think they're wonderful. I would take one every day if I could, but unfortunately, I can't. But I sometimes manage a little spot nap after work.

There are several types of naps, which I try to enjoy.

There's the Watching TV On The Couch Nap. That one should last between 20 and 30 minutes, and can happen during any kind of television program (except sports). A good TV nap can last for an hour, but they're rare. However, it cannot happen before you go to bed. . .

Because that's the Right Before Bedtime Nap, which is not really a nap at all, but a head start on bedtime. I actually hate this one, because I'm too tired to want to brush my teeth, but too afraid of cavities to go straight to bed. This nap is often confused with the Watching TV Nap, but the fact that it leads into your regular sleep schedule disqualifies it from being a real nap at all.

The Bed Nap is rife with controversy. This is when you actually climb back into bed and sleep. But for how long? An hour, or is 20 minutes long enough? Can you sleep for two hours, or is that too long to be a proper nap? Should you change into your sleeping clothes, or can you wear your regular clothes? A Bed Nap should only be used in dire emergencies, like full recovery. It's the nap equivalent of bringing the ship into port for minor repairs.

The Sports Nap is also different from a TV nap, in that, the TV program and background noise is part of the napping experience. (A Sports Nap can also happen when sports are on the radio.) Regardless of the sport, I need the sounds of the game to fall asleep during a Sports Nap. It's also the best nap there is.

Taking a nap during a football game when the house is toasty, or during a baseball game when the house is cold from the AC, are precious moments. Moments that the non-napper will never know. I feel. . . prosperous when I can take a sports nap.

I even have a special talent that I can fall asleep halfway through the second quarter of a football game, sleep through halftime, and wake up halfway through the third quarter. I once did this on January 1st, 1993, during three different college bowl games in a row.

Some so-called napping experts may group the Sports Nap and Watching TV Nap in the same category, they couldn't be more wrong, especially because they get eight hours of sleep and never need naps. The real nappers, the purists, understand that these are two distinctly separate types of naps.

Napping is a true art form, and can truly only be appreciated by babies and people over 30. People who don't take naps are like those annoying people who carry backpacks of water when they run. They manage to suck the fun out of everything and completely miss the point at the same time.

I'll tell you how to deal with them later. Right now, I want to finish this column before I fall asl4%kvo87t54#&DJM<:*&

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