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Naps: Endangered species in modern life?

TheStar.com - The modern world killed off the nap

What a bouquet of coincidence.

My Make column on napping is overdue, and yet right before dashing off to steal a rejuvenating 20-minute nap, I take a spin past del.icio.us/popular to find this little gem:

A good nap is one of life's great pleasures, and the ability to nap is the sign of a well-balanced life. When we nap we snatch back control of our day from a mechanized, clock-driven society. We set aside the urgency imposed on us by the external world and get in touch with an internal rhythm that is millions of years old.

A nap distils the sweetness of a whole night's sleep down to a few minutes. Ideally, it starts on a soft bed, in a dark room, with a warm blanket. At first your mind lingers on what you've done that day, and what you still need to do. Then your thoughts start to unravel a little, become less coherent, more dreamlike. You feel your breathing deepen, your body relax. You lose yourself; you're asleep. After a few minutes you gradually become aware again of the bed, the room. You open your eyes, gather your thoughts, throw off the blankets. You're a new person.

So nicely put. And, with that, Pzizz and I will say night night for now.

Keith Bolshaw's picture

I'm a firm believer in...

I'm a firm believer in naps being as good as a change (being as good as a rest), to the point that I've started to force the guys who work for me (I'm a humanitarian disaster-response coordinator) to take them at about 4pm. That way I can make them work 7am-midnight, 7 days a week for months and months and never once feel like maybe I should let them have a day off. (You can probably tell that I'm not that much of a humanitarian with my own people)

The 'headache-y nonsense' vs. 'best idea in the world' argument can probably be easily settled: as a new routine, it definitely does take some getting used to, but it gets more effective, and you start to need less and less for the same effect the more regularly that you do it. I used to need about 90mins or I would feel headache-y, but now I get 25mins every day, using Pzizz (natch) and can kick rrr for a long, long time.

As for being embarrassed about being asleep - I've always been jealous of old people who can just doze the afternoon away with their own 'mind like water': I always thought it was a wonderful thing and one of the main reasons that I am really, REALLY looking forward to being an old man. That, and the free license that old people have to dole out random vitriol at random young people. Personally, I can't wait.

Bah, kids these days... ;0)




An Oblique Strategy:
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