Taking a Nap: More than meets the eyes
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Taking a Nap: More than meets the eyes
Taking a Nap: More than meets the eyes by: Nathanael W. Dungan Recent studies have shown that the human body is incapable of functioning fully withouta brief break midway through the day during which deep relaxation occurs. I believe that I readthat in a prestigious medical journal. Or perhaps I dreamt it during one of my afternoon naps. For some the act of napping ends when a person graduates from kindergarten. Forothers, like myself, the napping continues on into adolescence and even adulthood. Andwhether the article in the journal was true or imagined; I believe the benefits of taking a nap arenumerous. Many people do not know that there are different kinds of naps. Although a nap couldbe defined as any sleep that occurs at a time other than bedtime, there are many forms andvariations of the nap. All naps fit into one of two broad categories: Planned or Accidental. Andeach of these categories can be divided even further into subcategories.Planned Naps: Planned naps do not have to be planned far in advance although that can be the case.Many people who believe that God created the universe in 6 days and rested on the 7th have aplanned nap which occurs every week at the same time. It occurs every Sunday afternoon.Many people begin to look forward to the next “day of rest” the moment they wake from theirSunday afternoon nap. This nap has been dubbed many things which seem to depend onwhich denomination of church a person attends. I have been known to call it the “SundaySlumber”, “Sunday Snooze”, or “Sunday Siesta el Grande”. As I said previously, a planned nap does not mean that it was necessarily thought ofdays or even hours ahead of time. It simply means that the sleep was done on purpose. As anexample, let us consider the hypothetical story of “Dalton”. Dalton works at his local “Billy’s Lube Express” where your car is serviced in under 20minutes or you get a free massage from Billy’s mother-in-law. Dalton often finds himselfstruggling to stay awake at work due to his late nights studying to pass his correspondencecourse in cosmetology. This causes him to work more slowly. One particularly rough morning,after being slapped several times by Billy’s angry mother-in-law, Dalton thought to himself, “Idefinitely need a nap when I get off work.” Upon his arrival home, Dalton took a nap. A plannednap. Other times a person may just come home and decide to take a short nap. These arealso called “power” naps because they seem to energize the person. They often last only 15 to20 minutes. I sometimes take four or five power naps a day. Often consecutively. There are many different kinds of planned naps. For example: -the “long day at work “nap is planned after the person has forced themselves to stayawake at work but is feeling the affects of sleeplessness. -the “something needs to be done around the house” nap occurs when a person,normally a man, wants to get out of doing something in the house, yard, or garage and insteadsits himself in the Lazy Boy® and becomes a lazy boy.
-the “in-laws are over” nap occurs when a person escapes to a different part of thehouse and falls asleep rather than have to deal with the spouses family. -the “headache” nap occurs when a person is trying to get rid of a headache, real orimagined. These “headaches” are often brought about by a loved one’s highly irritating voice.Closely related to both the “something needs to be done around the house” nap and the “in-lawsare over” nap. -the “I’m supposed to be somewhere I don’t want to be” nap occurs when a person isavoiding a situation such as a baby shower. This is done so the excuse, “sorry I didn’t make it, Ifell asleep” excuse can be used. Thus they are taking a planned nap, but calling it an accidentalnap.Accidental Naps: Whatever the circumstance, a planned nap is taken on purpose. The opposite categoryof naps is, then, the accidental naps. These occur any time that sleep happens without theindividual meaning to fall asleep. Accidental naps can happen at any time and any place.Before discussing different types of accidental naps let us look at another case study. Consider the story of Anita. Anita has a terrible habit of falling asleep on the job. Herboss has threatened to fire her if it does not stop. Anita tries to hide the fact that she has fallenasleep but it is nearly impossible. She is a cake decorator. I don’t believe there is a single person who has not experienced an accidental nap ofsome kind. There are many different types of accidental naps. For example: -the “monotone teacher” nap occurs in classrooms all over the world on a daily basis. -the “not going to fall back asleep, just lay here a second longer” nap occurs when aperson turns off the alarm clock because they are confident they will not have trouble getting upif they just lay there a couple more minutes. Mass hysteria often follows. -the “shower” nap occurs when people struggle to wake up in the morning even whenthere is hot water running over their bodies. This nap usually ends when the warm water runsout and is followed by any number of expletives. -the “bored meeting” nap is similar to the “monotone teacher” nap but occurs in meetingsat work places where refreshments and/or large amounts of beverages containing caffeine arenot provided. -the “stared at the computer screen too long” nap happens when the body’s automatic“eye saver” comes on and the whole room goes dark. -the “just going to rest my eyes while I drive” nap usually begins with the driver closingjust one eye at a time and can end with a sudden start and bodily excretion of some kind. It isbest to avoid this type of nap at all costs. -the “laying in bed talking to the significant other on the phone” nap occurs after a personclaims they are not too tired to talk to their loved one. Numerous moments of silence arecommon in the minutes leading up to the sound of snoring. -the “Sunday afternoon football” nap is similar to the “Sunday Snooze” but occurs duringa football game that the viewer had every intention of watching in its entirety. This is theaccidental form of the “Sunday Snooze”.
-the “got stuck watching a romantic movie” nap accidentally occurs in both movietheaters and homes, but is generally only taken by men. This can also be found in the plannednap category in some situations. -the “got stuck watching an action movie” nap is the female version of the “romanticmovie” nap. A similar nap is the “sports” nap often taken by females while a man is watching asporting event on television. -the “just going to sit for a moment” nap is generally a male only nap which occurs whileshopping for long periods of time at malls with females. These men are often found asleep on abench of some kind still clutching their wife’s purse in their hands. -the “highly medicated” nap occurs whenever cold medication or other medicine is takenat any time other than right before bed and results in sleep. Many of the other types of napspreviously mentioned may actually be incorrectly categorized if medicine is involved. Note: The“highly medicated” nap can also be a planned nap. For example: Every Thursday night Jake and his wife Sharon have a date night. They alternate whoplans the date. Sharon loves to watch old romantic comedies. Jake does not. Jake suffersfrom severe allergies which require medications which make him drowsy. Interestingly Jake’sallergies only flare up about every other week. Usually on Thursdays.Benefits to Naps It has been shown that naps come in all forms and varieties; planned and unplanned.But regardless of what type it is, all naps have the same benefits. The first thing that a napdoes is refresh the body and make it ready to face the rest of the day. It allows the body to shutdown for a while and regain its energy. The second thing a nap does is allow you to escapereality for a while. The stresses of life can be forgotten for a period of time as your body andmind enters a state of relaxation. Taking naps puts you in a relaxed state without having to do something illegal. After youwake up from a nap you still have a feeling of relaxation and sleepiness that will stay with youfor a while. This brings me to my favorite type of napping. The “just prior to bed-time” nap generally happens on a couch or other comfortablewhere normal night-time sleeping does not occur. It often takes place just after you think, “boy,I’m getting tired, what time is it?” This nap can be a variation of another type of nap and it canbe either an accidental nap or a planned nap that lasted a little longer than anticipated. Aftercompletion of this type of nap the participant climbs into bed for full-fledged sleeping.One final thought Different types of naps can follow each other. A “not going to fall back asleep, just layhere a second longer” nap can be followed by a “shower” nap. Upon arrival at work anycombination of naps may occur, including a “bored meeting” nap or a “stared at the computerscreen too long” nap. After a long workday a planned nap of some kind may occur. This cansoon be followed by any number of accidental naps such as a “movie” nap or a “talking to thesignificant other on the phone” nap. The evening may then end with a “just prior to bed” napfollowed by climbing into bed for the night. But this is only on a good day. Happy Napping.