21 January 2014

Afternoon Delight

“I count it as a certainty that in Paradise, everyone naps.”  —T. Hodgkinson

I am a champion napper.  I can doze with the best of them, waking refreshed and ready to tackle the remaining hours of the day.

There are people I know who hate taking naps. They find them enervating rather than revivifying. But not me. When left to my own devices I waken at about 4:30 a.m.,  complete most of my chores by mid-day, doze for an hour—intentionally or not—and then continue on until 10:00 p.m. or so.

A friend of mine enjoys making her naps official: getting into bed under the covers.  Unless I'm feeling ill, I don't like to be in bed during the day. My napping method is more haphazard, prefering to nod off in chairs, on couches, or in a garden chaise, depending on the time of year.

I love the coziness of a nap in autumn and winter... tucking myself into a corner of the couch or into my reading chair, letting a book or knitting droop from my hands and nodding off for an indeterminate amount of time.  Or a more "intentional" nap, where I stack pillows into a nest at one end of the couch, grab a blanket, and snuggle down to "rest my eyes".

In the summer, I'm just as likely to doze off in a garden chair in the afternoon, staring up into the tree canopy and letting the bird song and soft breezes lull me into a warm stupor. If I purposely go outside to nap for awhile, I'll bring a shawl.

Napping in a warm car that's been sitting in the sun on a chilly day may sound silly but I've done this before when I've been waiting for someone at the doctor's office or some other errand. Although my mother recommends wearing dark glasses if you intend to do this, so passersby won't think you're dead.  (My mother is full of excellent advice about the oddest things.)

Sometimes my naps begin as day-dreaming or, as I prefer to call it, "problem solving".  These are the "unintentional" naps. 

According to studies, naps improve mood, creativity, memory function, and our hearts. What's not to love?

This is why, when an afternoon sleepiness overtakes me at home, I do not reach for caffeine or stimulants, but surrender completely to the need to close my eyes, rest awhile, and refresh my body and mind.

 "No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap." —Carrie Snow

Amen, sister.


  1. I'm not much of a napper but you describe it in such a way that makes me take one right now :)


    1. Thank you, Abby! And you know, you can simply lean back in a chair and close your eyes for awhile without really sleeping.... that to me is as refreshing as any nap!

  2. Oh, I wish I could nap, but i simply can't. I really envy those who can take a refreshing forty winks when needed, but I can only nap when I'm ill. Sigh...

    1. Oh that's too bad, Perpetua. Perhaps you could try simply closing your eyes when you're at the beach, or sitting outside, or on the porch. Day-dreaming can be as restful as a nap.