February 5, 2011

If this post seems unusually disjointed or rambling, I apologize.

You see, I just woke up.

I think that I have napped more in the last two years than I did in all the rest of my life combined. Part of that is likely due to increasingly odd sleep patterns. Some of it’s probably due to the fact that I’m working much, much harder now. But some of it may well be for the simple reason that I’ve re-discovered how wonderful naps can be.

For one thing, they’re a comfort in the cold, dark hours of the morning. I tend to wake up a few times from about 3-5 am, just long enough to howl, “Why am I AWAKE???” But when it’s actually time to get up, but my body seems desperate to stay in bed as long as possible. Knowing there’s a nap on the horizon provides enough of a motivation to haul myself from my warm cocoon.

In my napping, I’ve noticed a few different kinds of naps. There is the…

Dracula Nap

This nap begins with a vicious, almost narcoleptic urge to sleep. You can barely stumble to your bed before you’re out. Like the Count’s sleep, this is a deep, regenerative sleep… during the daytime. No dreams. No real thought after your head hits the pillow. Just ravenous hunger on awakening.

Einstein Nap

Unlike the Dracula Nap, this nap allows for plenty of time for thinking before you fall asleep. In some cases, you may truly believe you’re “resting your eyes,” letting the body chill out while your mind floats disconnected, yet very much present; like an ice floe on the ocean. Yeah. Don’t believe it. Pretty soon, that ocean washes right over you, and you’re dreaming. The only thing is, amazing ideas can strike right before you drop off or right after you wake up. Definitely worth keeping a notepad by the bed.

Sunday Afternoon Nap

It’s sunny. There’s nothing to do, in the best sense. Monday is still far enough away to be denied. You’re not physically drained, quite the contrary, but you’re so calm, and warm, and happy, and your bed is so soft… Sleep comes in waves; you may wake up a little, smile, and snooze a little more. When you get back up, you’re not groggy, but refreshed and content with the world. I like Sunday Afternoon Naps.

Stolen Nap

Surely we’ve all done it. Exhaustion kicks in, or you’re faced with a Dracula-style “I must get out of this light and sleep NOW” urge while far from bed. This is when the Stolen Nap happens. I’ll admit, it’s not my favourite style of nap. Bags and jackets don’t make the best pillows, and even if you can find a comfy chair to curl up in, I’m leery of sleeping in public. Sure, most people’s response is to avoid the sleeper, but still. What if I snore? Besides which, these naps tend to be ultimately unsatisfying.

Nightmare Nap

Ah. Now this is really my least favourite nap. Thought all naps were awesome, or at least neutral, eh? Sorry to disappoint, but if you dream while napping, you automatically open yourself up to bad dreams. And since any nap-sleep tends to be shallower and more influenced by outside noises/sensations, these bad dreams can get very, very weird. After the initial electric jolt on escaping the nightmare, grogginess hits. Hard. Stumbling, half-asleep limbs and residual adrenaline do not make a good combination.

And so, I think it appropriate to end this by saying… Sweet Dreams!




  1. Great description of naps. I’ve had them all.

  2. Oh, it seems that I have the nightmare nap the most. Especially during finals. Dracula nap is my favorite. Konk and gone, and get some real rest.

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