Can Naps Be Meaningful?

I’m having a nightmare about Arabic.

I love napping an unusual amount. When I think of high school and college, some of the sweetest memories that come rushing over me are of lazy afternoons when I came home to an empty house or apartment and threw myself into the soft arms of a delicious nap.

Even though I know better, I still tell the very un-riveting story of my best high school nap.

Class ended at 1:30 and by 1:35 I’d started the long walk across the parking lot to my car. Rain was on the way. During school I’d heard the thunder muttering and grumbling in the east. The sky was an angry color, turning the late afternoon into an other worldly something between night and day. Before I reached the car, I felt thick, warm drops on my face and soon it was dumping rain. I ran but it was too late and I was already soaked by the time I reached shelter inside my noble Ford Taurus.

In the pouring rain, I drove home as fast as I could and sprinted across the lawn into my empty house. Quickly, I changed into a long sleeved t-shirt and sweatpants, lay down on the couch, and fell into one of the best naps of my life. Something about the contrast between the warm interior and the harsh, wet exterior and the gentle darkness that filled my house and the feeling of shelter against nature’s wrath made it an important nap for me, one that I (obviously) still remember with fondness.

For me, the ideal interaction with nature is a nap. When I see majestic vistas, crystal waterfalls, or white desert landscapes filled with watery moonlight, I fantasize about curling up and falling asleep, embraced by nature itself. I imagine a soft green bed beneath a willow tree, the earth all dappled with late afternoon sunlight coming in from over the mountains. I would lay down in my sleep and become a part of the place itself and my being would meld with the trees and the earth and the light.

In my mind, the nap would take on a deeper meaning and become a spiritual experience. Yet I have found that no matter how deep I sleep and no matter how peaceful or well rested I feel upon awaking, my naps are just naps, little sleeps enriching my day before I enter the big sleep and then the biggest sleep. I believe the spiritual disciplines of trances and meditation have come from the deeply human desire for spiritual slumber. Perhaps one of these days I will try those methods, but until then I will keep on napping and never stop.

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39 thoughts on “Can Naps Be Meaningful?

  1. evea192 says:

    I like to take power naps, they tend to make me feel better then a usual 8 hour nap.

  2. I wish I could take a nap, but I am very seldom able to… Sleep and I in general, have a difficult relationship. But what you wrote was vicariously soothing, and I could feel a sense of what you were feeling, after coming in from the storm. Safe, warm and dry, and in the quiet peace of solitude.

    • edrevets says:

      It was truly a wonderful experience. I can’t remember if I loved long sleeved shirts before that moment, but especially after it I had a special attachment to them.

  3. cassiebehle says:

    I love napping after work, but I’m unsure if the amount of rest I acquire makes up for that heart attack sensation I get when I wake up thinking I overslept for work, only to discover I’m in my work clothes and what? Does that say 7 P.M.?? Where AM I?!

  4. Audrey says:

    I have that Arabic textbook!! I really hope you’re not having nightmares of learning Arabic when you nap, that could suck. Especially when you wake up and have to keep trying to speak Arabic – the tiredness, the confusion, it’s just not good…

  5. I like to think of myself as a nap ninja. Creeping in the shadows -asleep-

  6. Naps are essential. It’s amazing how good you’ll feel after taking one.

    • edrevets says:

      Coincidentally, I was trying to nap today and there was a CHILD outside my window that would not stop yelling and what not….unbearable. Is it so selfish to demand silence from the entire world?

  7. patto1992 says:

    I absolutely love naps even to this day and actually try and have one every day if I can and I think everybody should

  8. Last time I tried to nap, I woke up covered in ants. Kind of a buzz kill.

  9. I think the best nap I ever took was on a warm sunny morning while I was hiking in the mountains near my home. I always feel a very spiritual connection up there, maybe because my grandmother used to love being up there so much. She is up there somewhere watching now. I was hiking on this wonderful day and found a very quiet little meadow, with an old tree stump right in the middle. So I wondered over and found a nice soft spot in the earth next to it, leaned back against the old wood, and pulled my hat brim down over my eyes. It didn’t take long for the warmth of the sun to soak in and totally relax me, and I drifted into a wonderfully invigorating nap. It probably only lasted for about 20 or 30 minutes, but it gave me the strength I needed to finish my hike and still feel energetic. Thanks for taking me to a good memory.

    • edrevets says:

      Oh my goodness that sounds amazing—that is my dream nap. I’ve never actually napped in nature like I described, I’ve just always wanted too. Thanks for sharing your memory with me.

  10. It’s weird, I’ve never been much of a napper, only when I’m sick…..

  11. Archon's Den says:

    Excellent use of evocative words and phrases. The linguistic interplay was so deep and intense, I almost oozed into it and had a nap myself. How do you decide what the reading time for your posts is/should be? I read my own 1000-word epics in five minutes, but I think the lip-movers must take fifteen to twenty.

    • edrevets says:

      I base it on my own reading speed minus a little bit because I’m used to the words….I think I qualify 500 words as 2 minutes.

  12. Bird says:

    I love to take a nap!!

  13. janacath says:

    napping is generally all i want to do. but napping hates me. i assume that is why we are never, ever together. either that or the fact that i am busy all of the 986734 hours a week. this makes me want to die, of course.

    • edrevets says:

      Well naturally that would make you want to die. I want you to know that I’m rooting for you and napping. I think one day you might be able to make it work.

  14. jensine says:

    I’m not a napper but am warming to the idea … but maybe that is just my lack of sleep talking

  15. tomwisk says:

    “Relax, brearthe in the air” Find a comfortable spot on the couch and drift into the Arms of Morpheus. It’s everyman’s time travel. We miss the iffy moments of life and emerge on the threshold of a new moment having escaped the mudane that would have only made our quest for nirvana more difficult. Nap on.

  16. Now Husband is a Napping Champ. I’ve never seen anyone so happy taking naps. The cat curls up beside him, and all’s well with the world.

    • edrevets says:

      This is what the picture of world peace should look like: every man, woman, and child, with a furry animal curled up in sweet slumber together.

  17. great point. When the weather outside is opposite of your comfort level at that moment, we are set for awesome sleeps. Naps as the rain splashes the window are awesome. I used to like watching it snow at night while tucked under many covers.

    • edrevets says:

      Ohhhhh I love watching the snow. Sometimes I forget how awful the winter can be and yearn for the snow and the cold, just for the feeling of “cozy.”

  18. Napping is bliss.

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