16 April 2021


In my mind I have an image of my parents in their late middle age. It is some time in the mid-seventies. We have had our evening meal and the television news is on but they are paying no attention to current affairs because they are both asleep. Mandibles relaxed, they have for a little while at least, escaped from consciousness. They're sitting in their armchairs - napping.

Now I dislike napping and try to avoid it as much as possible. For me napping is annoying because it tends to spoil my appetite for proper sleep when I finally get to bed. This is especially so late at night.

In recent weeks, I have found myself napping on several occasions. I will be watching something on the TV with my eyes getting heavier and then, gadzooks - I am asleep just like my parents. Sometimes, half an hour or more will pass before I wake up, bleary-eyed wondering how I have missed a big chunk of the show I was watching.

This happened during my first attempt to watch "The Mauritanian" and again when I was watching "Seaspiracy" - the disturbing and controversial documentary about the world's fishing industries. It was so disturbing and controversial that I fell asleep. Fortunately, both shows are on "Netflix" so I was able to successfully re-watch them.

Every time I have ever napped it was unintended and undesired - possibly with the exception of air travel. Napping seems to happen when you have had an active day and  you're warm, safe and comfortable. You don't mean to give in to sleep but it takes you anyway.

Later you may find yourself tossing and turning in bed, your head buzzing with thoughts as you are refused entry to The Palace of Sleep. The dreaded nap has taken the edge off your tiredness and you may have to get up, have a hot drink and a biscuit (American: cookie)  and do some pottering about before giving proper sleep another go.

Most of my life I have happily avoided napping but as I say, in recent weeks, I too have fallen victim to the sly, creeping condition on various occasions. Perhaps somewhere, ingenious immunologists are developing vaccines to defeat NAP-21. If so,  I will have some of that.  Napping is, in my humble opinion, the secret scourge of the western world.


  1. A nap is merely your body telling you it needs rest, and that’s all. Some of us can nap for 20 minutes, be refreshed and sleep all night. Like me, :D

    1. Same here! After a busy morning working away at my computers, my eyes really welcome the rest after a spot of lunch. No longer than 20 minutes, and I wake up without the help of an alarm, and can not only get through the afternoon's work but also be tired enough for proper sleep at night.
      I only started this in 2018, after my first eye operation, when I was not able to work for four weeks and not allowed to do anything much; napping was allowed, and I became an expert napper!

  2. Is it not best to just give in to your body's need for a nap rather than fight it? There are no rules about what time of day you should or should not sleep. Although P seems to think so!

  3. Well, so long as you don't relax your mandibles as well, or anything else, especially not your sphincters, it's probably OK.

    1. Have you seen Debra Who Seeks post on this very topic? Tips on how to fall asleep in a chair: 1) Be old; 2) Sit in a chair.

  4. Napping is a superpower

  5. Eight more weeks of virtual schooling with 6 year old and then maybe I will nap...for the rest of summer. zzzzzzzzzzz

  6. My mum was always falling asleep when she was sitting. I don't nap except when I'm in a car, not the driver, and the sun is shining. Can't keep my eyes open.

    The big guy is an expert napper but it doesn't work for me, unless I'm sick, then I'll nap.

    You could just shut off the TV and go to bed. Just a thought:)

  7. Anonymous12:48 pm

    It is rare that I sit in front of the tv and my partner will gleefully tell all that if I do, I may well be asleep in the chair until 3am. I don't nap during the day as I won't sleep well at night. But I can envisage a time when I will daytime nap. My partner actually sleeps for two hours in the afternoon. Getting old is such fun and also interesting to observe yourself from a dispassionate point of view.

  8. Churchill cat-napped during the war. Often he was at work in the middle of the night, analysing cables from his generals, on the line to President Roosevelt.

    *Paul McCartney often dreams of John Lennon.* (YouTube)
    I wonder if Macca cat-naps in the afternoon? A good time for friendly ghosts to visit us in dreams.

    In Act 3 of Measure for Measure, Duke Vicentio says:
    *Thou hast nor youth nor age,
    But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
    Dreaming on both - *

    Stanley Middleton wrote an admirable novel, *An After Dinner's Sleep* from this quotation of Shakespeare's.
    Middleton (1919-2009) was head of English at High Pavement College (grammar school) in Nottingham.
    *Nottingham Forgotten Heroes #5 Stanley Middleton.*
    YouTube. (Paul Turton)

    Haggerty wide awake.

  9. Aristotle, Winston Churchill, Napoleon, Churchill, Thatcher, Kennedy, Reagan. All famous nappers.

  10. There is nothing in this world I love as much as a good nap although you're right- it can interfere with night sleep which, in my opinion, is sacred.

  11. We both nap most afternoons, we find we are refreshed 'once we are fully awake again' and get more done. If we miss the nap we are done for by early evening. Fortunately both of us have no problem with sleeping at night.
    I hate to tell you this but napping comes with age, lol

  12. A power nap during the day (no longer than 20 minutes) is supposed to be good for you - helps recharge your batteries. An afternoon siesta is very common in hot countries.

  13. Control your napping by purposely taking a nap at a specific time. I don't nap but then I don't watch TV If I watched TV I might nap. By the way , I still have trouble sleeping at night.

  14. Years ago I read a summary of some Japanese research that apparently established that 18 minutes is the ideal nap - refreshes and re-energizes without going into the deeper stages of sleep from which you would emerge groggy and unfocussed if you haven't been able to progress through the rest of the full sleep cycle. 18 minutes naps - the 'power nap'.

  15. I agree with you about the perils of napping. I never used to do this but I now routinely fall asleep in the afternoon. I was watching the scary documentary about a Swedish religious cult and had to re-watch the last 20 minutes earlier today. Oh well. Not a big problem to have!

  16. I'm in complete agreement but have the same problem as you. Mostly if I do fall asleep, due to living with four women, the noise usually wakes me within fifteen minutes and no damage is done. Occasionally however, I wake up two hours later and feel so disoriented for a length of time. Then I can't sleep that night which makes me tired and needing a nap the next day and it is a vicious downward spiral until I force myself to stay away no matter what it takes, just so I sleep well at night and break the cycle. It is much easier to just avoid naps to begin with.

  17. Supposedly naps are good for you, but I have never been a napper. When I've tried, I wake up feeling worse: sick to my stomach and groggy. So, I avoid it as much as possible.


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