fitness · sleep

The Joy of Napping

A cozy bed with fluffy pillows and freshly laundered sheets… a comfy couch with a four-legged friend curled up behind your knees… a hammock hoisted up in a sunny patch… a beach lounger with your toes tucked into the sandy beach in front of you… there are as many ways and places to nap as your imagination allows!

A sea lion napping on a bench. Photo by Jackman Chiu on Unsplash
A sea lion napping on a bench. Photo by Jackman Chiu on Unsplash

We’re no stranger here at FIFI when it comes to talk about naps and rest (a small sampling of earlier nap/sleep posts: Sam, Martha, Catherine). I started thinking about this a bit ago when I realized that February 28 was National Public Sleeping Day. Winter has (finally) arrived in New England and I was dreaming about being in a place with suitable weather for outdoor public napping. Short of taking a snooze on a mall bench public sleeping isn’t usually an option for me in February, given our chilly weather. Of course we can’t tackle a silly (probably made up) “holiday” like sleeping in public day without thinking more about who is allowed to snuggle up on a park bench for a short respite and who would be penalized for doing so. It also started me thinking about where most of us would feel comfortable sleeping in public. I’ve had a couple jobs where I could close the door and grab a short nap, but I probably wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing that in the employee break room. I’ve napped at the beach, in my car, and on a blanket in the park. I’ve fallen asleep at the movies, and once in a department store while waiting for someone to come out of the dressing room. It wont come as a surprise after reading this to know that I’m a big fan of sleeping and naps.

Are you dismayed that National Public Sleeping Day has passed for the year? Never fear – Napping Day is just around the corner on March 13. According to the linked site, napping day was created to mitigate the lost hour of sleep from the “spring forward” shift due to Daylight Savings Time. That’s a “day” I can get behind, especially since my dogs can’t tell time and insist on sticking to their same breakfast time. We’re all a little tired after the switch and a day of napping is a welcome reprieve.

I almost never napped as a child. I used to drive my babysitter wonky because I would keep all the other kids up at nap time. Eventually she started bringing me into the sitting room with her, where she would close her eyes and listen to Days of Our Lives (it was the 70s!). I would ask her if she was sleeping and she said “just resting my eyes.” I napped a little bit more as a teen, but I didn’t really come to love naps until my 30s. These days I nap pretty regularly, even if it’s just a quick 10 minutes before moving on to the next part of my day.

How and when is your next nap coming? Will you be outside laying in a patch of sunshine? Curled up with the family pet? Face down next to your lunch container at your desk? Where ever you end up, I hope it is a wonderful snooze!

Amy Smith is a professor of Media & Communication and a communication consultant who lives north of Boston. Her research interests include gender communication and community building. Amy spends her movement time riding the basement bicycle to nowhere, walking her two dogs, and waiting for it to get warm enough for outdoor swimming in New England.