I delight in naps.
It’s hard to believe my little three-year-old self did not run into my bedroom eager to lay down for my afternoon nap. At the time, I desperately wanted to watch Bozo The Clown on television even as my eyes would half close, because I was so tired. I vaguely remember faking a nap so I could believably lie to Mom when she asked if I slept, “Yes, I slept a little.” Why so nap-averse? There were other kids outside playing, Bozo was on television, and Mom was probably doing something I needed to help her with. As I type, I’m remembering naps at La Petite Academy - the daycare center I went to awhile as a kid. We had little cots akin to modern-day camp cots with aluminum frames and nylon fabric slung across them. They were not particularly comfortable. Nap time also meant a Dixie cup with some red “fruit” juice. The juice was a nice touch. They should have spiked it. I would have slept better.
Like I said, I delight in naps these days, but that is rather vague. It’s like saying I like food or I like travel. If I really want you to understand me, which of course I do, and a vital part of my ecovillage life here at Dancing Rabbit, then you must have some fundamental grasp of my daily nappage. Unlike food or travel, there is only one kind of nap I don’t like whereas there are many foods and modes of travel I dislike. The only kind of nap I don’t like is a nap that is interrupted.
Here’s the rundown on my typical afternoon nap this winter. Let us refer to it as The Basic Afternoon Nap or BAN. First, the BAN is usually in the afternoon. Sometimes I’ll do a little something after lunch, but more often than not, I’ll eat a satisfying lunch, visit with my kitchen coop peeps while we clean up then head back to my room for a BAN.
Removing my boots or shoes, I lay atop the bed (which I have made), prop up the pillows (three of them), and pull either a super soft throw blanket or my sleeping bag over me. The temperature in my room ranges from about 52 to 62 this winter so I choose my covering accordingly. I clasp my hands and rest them on my belly and feel myself breathe. I usually start on my back and sometimes remain in this position for the duration of the BAN. Other times I will roll onto my side, one or the other, a time or two. One quirk of back napping for me is the pre-REM waking snore snort.
Just as I’m actually falling asleep, that fugue state between waking and resting reality, I seemingly try to inhale a hard-boiled egg into my left nostril. Rude awakening. Upon checking for and finding no hard-boiled eggs, I roll onto one side or the other and go to sleep. This could last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. It is delightful.
Sometimes there is music playing downstairs or I hear the sound of doors opening and closing. Footsteps treading up the stairs which could be human or canine. Summer naps often featured the sounds of children and dogs, power tools and breezes. Naps vary seasonally based on accommodations, time of day, and village activities. I grew more accustomed to the Sweaty Summer Nap (SSN) as I found I usually stopped sweating after about 10 minutes. A 12-volt fan blowing across my body also helped.
So far I’ve only touched on my Basic Afternoon Nap, but I don’t want you to think that’s all I have in my napping repertoire. I’ve also been known to indulge in The Nap Before Bedtime. In this nap variation, the procedure is much like the BAN but it differs in time of day. The NBB happens shortly after dinner, is of short duration, and ends with me waking up briefly, taking off my clothes, brushing my teeth and going right back to bed for the night.
I’m also not afraid of a good Mid-Morning Nap (MMN). For some unknown reason, the MMN is more often accompanied by a river of drool that tends to wake me abruptly when I roll into it. I think I call it “drool” because I don’t want to admit to myself that I would ever roll over, face first, into a gallon of my own spit. Gross. While less frequent, this nap indicates a less than ideal night’s sleep the night before. Maybe I got to bed late, after 9pm, or maybe a little acid reflux kept me awake or whatever. I’m not afraid to adjust to the situation on the fly and supplement with a good Mid-Morning Nap.
Other specialty naps you might be familiar with yourself are The Rainstorm Nap, The Sick Day Nap, The I’m Too Sad To Face The World Nap, and the It Could Be A Long Night So I Better Get Some Extra Rest Nap. Almost forgot the Nap While Not Really Watching Golf. I’ve considered taping golf announcers and just playing it back on a loop to ease me to sleep at night. It’s easy for me to imagine going to sleep hearing Jim Nance whisper, “It breaks a little to the right...It breaks a little to the right...It breaks a little to the right...it breaks a little ....ZZZZzzzzz...zzz.
I’m currently doing some field research on other potential naps. For my research, I’ve decided to enlist the help of some of our local napping experts. These beings seem to live for naps and have a far greater repertoire and higher proficiency than us humans. You’ve probably already guessed, I’m talking about The Cat Nap or TCN.