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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.

B Johnsen's picture

For me, there's a big...

For me, there's a big difference between napping and sleeping. Sleeping's deep and prolonged. Napping is dozing - it's just below the level of conciousness - and is brief, forty minutes max. I hate sleeping during the day because I wake up all cranky and boboed and it takes me hours to recover. I love napping because I wake up happy and mellow and relaxed. I have a highly irregular schedule, so I just nap whenever it occurs to me and it's practical to do so, but my best naps are around either 10 am or 2 pm, and in my own bed.

It took me a while to settle into a (way? practice? routine?) that works for me. I'm sure there's a lot of individual variation. I don't use any special equipment, and ambient light and sound are unimportant. I just lie down (always on my back, unlike sleep, when I'm always on my side), close my eyes, and let my mind wander. I'm aware of when I start to drift off, and I enjoy that in-between state before I relinquish conciousness. Sometimes I'm only out for a minute or two, but the duration always feels just right.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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