Made better

Drew naps on Matt's bed with Pasha and other cuddly critters, December 2006

Drew naps on Matt’s bed with Pasha and other cuddly critters, December 2006

“No day is so bad that it can’t be made better with a nap.”Carrie Snow

It always amazed me how Jeff would never, ever want to nap.  While he was taking his first course of chemotherapy this past winter, he took more naps in a few weeks than he had taken in the rest of his adult life put together.  But I love napping.  Before our children were born, snoozing for an hour or two (or even three) on Sunday afternoons was one of my favorite pastimes.

I rarely ever have time for a nap anymore, but the older I get, the more I think I might take up the practice again.  I’ve read several studies that indicate napping is good for us, as long as we don’t overdo it.  And I certainly find the idea appealing.  Apparently, if I do decide to start indulging in the occasional nap, I’ll be in good company. The internet is full of articles about famous, accomplished people who took regular naps.*

Napping on Monday might be especially appealing, but any day you are having a bad day, maybe a nap would help.  Do you ever indulge in a quick afternoon doze?  If so, do you awaken feeling refreshed, or groggy?  Any words of wisdom about catching winks?  Share your siesta secrets with us!
*one really interesting bit of information provided by Jackie Kennedy in the recently released tapes of her interviews with Schlesinger was that JFK would always change into his pajamas for a nap, even if he would only be sleeping for 45 minutes.  I find that very endearing.  Makes me wonder if he had a teddy bear.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    I’m a groggy napper. A nap makes me groggy until just about bedtime. However, I recognize that I need more sleep and that my naps may have been too long, settling into deep sleep. I think I may try using that “Insight Timer” app to select something to doze to, for a more limited time.
    I thought this point in your referenced article was interesting and amusing:
    “In 2008, British researchers reported results of a study that compared getting more nighttime sleep, taking a nap, and using caffeine as ways to cope with the afternoon hump. The nap was the most effective.”
    Is taking a nap a “way to cope” with the afternoon hump?? In my opinion, it is more of a “succumbing to” that hump! Now I am curious what that study’s endpoints were, since staying awake clearly wasn’t one! Possibly better health, mood, or job performance, but I wouldn’t have called it “coping!” 😆
    I hope you have a spectacular day!

    • Ah, but often we label succumbing to this or that as a “way to cope” — think of alcohol, tobacco or various legal and illegal drugs, as well as binge-eating, “venting” with angry talk, or other potentially damaging behaviors. In this case, though, I wouldn’t think of “succumbing” to something that so many research studies (and history) say is a healthy thing. If the nap is well-planned and kept short– meaning early enough in the day not to interfere with sleep that night, and short enough not to be disorienting– I’d say it’s a coping strategy. Whereas falling asleep on the couch at 5 pm for two hours, or watching TV in bed until one sleeps, or stuffing oneself with sugar in the afternoon (leading to an inevitable crash) are all more “succumbing” than “coping.” As in everything, your mileage may vary because no two people are completely alike.

      • Well put, Julia. The short nap helps one for and overcome that “crash” that we’d certainly suffer by messing up our circadian rhythm with sugar or long, deep afternoon slumber.

        • I still have not learned the fine art of napping to best effect. On the rare occasions I’ve tried it, I usually end up sleeping too long and feeling disoriented when I wake. Also I never feel like napping until so late in the afternoon that I’m afraid it will mess up my easily derailed nighttime sleep. For now I’m focusing on trying to rise early, get to bed early, and not stress if I don’t sleep well– I just tell myself I will end up sleeping longer the next night, which I almost always do if I have a night of not enough sleep.

          • I am telling myself that same thing, this morning!

  2. MaryAnn

    Precious photo! Sending my love!

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