Sleep issues run rampant in my family.
At Mogren gatherings, at least two of my uncles are asleep at any given point (there are 10, including my dad). People are nodding off constantly– and not just after Thanksgiving dinner, but at birthdays, plays, sporting events, campfires, graduation parties… you name it.
I once had a friend ask if narcolepsy runs in my family.
I know for a fact that my dad has sleep apnea; I can only assume the rest of ’em do, too. Or maybe they are narcoleptic. I don’t know.
All I know is that growing up, I always had to wait FOREVER for EVERYTHING because somebody needed to take a nap. Opening Christmas presents, playing at the park, waterskiing… sure, I’ll take you. I’m just going to nap first.
Maybe this is where my general disdain for naps stems from. I know naps are beloved by many, but I just don’t do them. Here’s why.
1. 9 Times Out of 10, I Can’t Bounce Back
Occasionally, I’ll fall asleep on the couch on a Sunday afternoon. The chances of me actually doing anything productive after is roughly 10 percent. I’m groggy, stumbling around, begging the clock to say 9 pm so I can just go back to bed already.
If I nap in my bed, my chance of productivity plummets to zero. In fact, even getting out of bed again is a lost cause. Once I’m down, I’m down.
Embarrassing story: Nine years ago, I drove across the country for work. My co-worker and I plotted our course strategically so we’d have one night in Las Vegas. Dinner, drinks, gambling. It was our carrot! We arrived at the hotel around 5 pm. I decided to take a 30-minute nap… and woke up the next day at 8:30 am. We were on the road again an hour later.
2. I Can’t Fall Asleep Later
Even if I’m a post-nap zombie, I somehow can’t fall asleep later that night. I’ll lay in bed for hours, wishin and hopin and prayin to fall asleep… and don’t. What is that all about?!
3. I Discovered 5 Hour Energy
I think energy drinks are disgusting, especially the ones in tallboy cans. But I can’t tell you how many times 5 Hour Energy has saved me. They’re the ones that come in tiny bottles. Sure, they taste disgusting, but only for a second! And they work. I’ve never felt weird or jittery afterward, just awake.
The hippie-dippie tree hugger in me says don’t drink that garbage; the realist in me says hand over the goods. Naps = obsolete.
4. Naps Make Me Feel Bad About Myself
What could I be doing instead of napping? Working, cleaning, reading, organizing, exercising, walking my dog, anything and everything. Naps make me feel guilty, like I’m just wasting time.
5. I’m Afraid of Forming a Bad Habit.
My freshman year of college, I fell into a terrible napping cycle. I’d go to my morning classes, then I’d return to the dorms for lunch, then nap for 30 minutes… which turned into an hour… or maybe three. Then, I’d have to go to another class (if I could even get out of my lofted bed), but would feel all kloo-kloo-kla-kla. Of course, I’d stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning because I couldn’t fall asleep (also, I was probably partying).
My napping got so out of control that my roommate asked if I was depressed.
Instead of being like, screw you I’m just tired leave me alone dumb roommate you don’t know me!, I thought she made a pretty great point. Maybe I was depressed!
I got a waitressing job, which gave my day more structure. The napping stopped.
In retrospect, I think I was just bored. However, I had let the naps rule my life. Sometimes I feel like I’m one daytime nap away from falling back into a bad habit. Especially scary now that I’m working from home.
So, keeping all of this in mind, last weekend I took a nap (#275).
Josh and I had stayed up way past our bedtime at a Halloween party. I’m talking 4:30 am. It was really, really, really fun. But SURPRISE! I felt like absolute shit the next day.
At 1 pm, Josh declared he was going to take a nap. In our bed.
I knew if I joined him, the possibility of me getting up was slim. But I was so tired. And didn’t have squat to do. So I gave in.
Two hours later, Josh tapped my shoulder. We gotta get up or else we never will. He was right. It took me 20 minutes, but I finally roused. I felt surprisingly refreshed.
I spent the next few hours working on the blog, watching movies (Pretty Woman & The Goonies, to be exact) and eating Vietnamese take-out from Vo’s. It was the most perfect nap followed by the most perfect evening of nothing.
I know naps won’t be a regular thing for me, but sometimes even a non-napper can admit they feel oh-so-good.