Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Awesomeness of Naps

The topic for this entry was suggested to me by my good friend Jen.  Clearly, she knows me better than my friend Tom, whom I haven't seen since high school and who suggested I write about "the globalization of the world economy and the socio-political effects on the middle class in America and the growing middle class in China."  So, naps it is!

Naps are awesome.  I've read articles about businesses that have special rooms and sometimes little tents with cots for employees to take 20-minute naps during the day.  Part of me would love to work in a place that gives me permission (and a pillow!) to doze off during the workday.  The other part of me believes that this sounds like a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.  If you don't happen to work in an office that provides a nice cot in the break room, I suggest you train yourself to wake up yelling the phrase, "I'm trying to concentrate!"

Kids always fight taking naps.  At least, my kids do.  Even as infants they never really took naps like all the rest of the babies I knew.  I always get irritated at parents who are bummed that their 2-year-old is down to only two naps a day.  If I can get my baby to take one nap that is longer than 20 minutes and doesn't require me holding him so that he can rub my arm in his sleep, then we're having a pretty good day, nap wise.

A really good time to take advantage of naps is when you are pregnant.  Not only because people will excuse you for it, but because after you have the baby you will never sleep the same again.  I remember, towards the end of pregnancy, building a giant nest in the center of the bed using about fifteen pillows.  Every part of me needed to be propped and cushioned; knees, hips, back, belly, head and arms.   It would take a great deal of energy from my gargantuan body to adjust each pillow until it was in just the exact spot for maximum comfort.  And when I would settle down into my billowy nest... oh, what a rest it was!  I would go into such a deep sleep that nothing but the crazy baby in my belly, who was clearly practicing tumbling, could wake me from it.  It was great.  Sleeping in a pillow nest is how I imagine it must be to sleep in heaven on a cloud;  every limb optimally supported.  I highly suggest that everyone build their own pillow nest tonight.

I'm not a sound sleeper myself and, unless I'm sick or pregnant, I have a hard time sleeping during the day.  I clearly did not inherit my restlessness from my father.  He can sleep on a rock in the median of the express way during rush hour and wake up happy and refreshed.  He once fell asleep in a chair while holding a full-to-the-brim cup of tea by the saucer between his thumb and index finger.  Most people would have dropped the cup as soon as they dozed off, but not Dad.  His hand stayed completely steady; not a ripple in the cup!  I was so fascinated by this oddity, that instead of removing the cup from his hand to avoid what would seem an inevitable spill, I sat there watching him sleep; waiting for the disaster.  I watched him for at least fifteen minutes, listening to him snore like a hibernating bear before Mom came into the room and yelled, "Carl!  You're sleeping with tea in your hand!"  He calmly opened his eyes and, with his usual response of "I'm just resting my eyes," he took his first sip of his now cold tea.  I never asked him, but I'm sure he would agree, like all of his naps, that was an awesome nap.

Even God thinks naps are awesome.  He rested himself on the seventh day after making the whole world.  And, right off the bat in Genesis, he had Adam take a nap so he could remove one of his ribs to make Eve.  That's a pretty awesome nap, right?  You go to sleep in a beautiful garden, and wake up with a wife!  Psalms says that God grants sleep to those He loves.  I love Proverbs 3:24, "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."  To sum up, God thinks naps are awesome.  And if God thinks it's awesome, then so do I.

Thanks for the topic, Jen.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a nap now.

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