11.02.2006

Tribute to Napping

Read "The modern world killed off the nap" from the Toronto Star. [Hat tip to Nafka Mina.]
We are a culture that celebrates action, doing, achieving, an attitude that leads to a disdain for sleep in general. We stay up late and get up early. We pull all-nighters. We'll sleep when we're dead, and in the meantime there's always a Starbucks on the corner.

It's a misguided attitude. A good nap is one of life's great pleasures, and the ability to nap is the sign of a well-balanced life. When we nap we snatch back control of our day from a mechanized, clock-driven society. We set aside the urgency imposed on us by the external world and get in touch with an internal rhythm that is millions of years old.
This is sort of how I feel about Shabbat, but it applies equally to naps.

Kurt Kleiner (the author of this piece) and I are apparently not alone in our love of naps:
There's no shortage of important historical nappers, many of them men of industry and action. Napoleon Bonaparte, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, and Winston Churchill were nappers in the heroic vein.
Why our employers should give us nap time:
But sleep experts say a lot of us really could use that nap. James B. Maas, the Cornell University sleep expert, says most people don't get enough sleep and that an afternoon nap can help. In fact, Maas coined the term "power nap" to emphasize that a nap can make a person more productive and energetic.
Eh, just go read the article yourself. And then go take a nap.

2 comments:

alg's dad said...

Thomas Edison tended to doze off during the day, I have heard, because he never got more than 4 hours of sleep at night. He was the epitome of the driven, high-achieving workaholic. Not someone to emulate if you think it's unhealthy not to get enough sleep.

Anonymous said...

Shortly after a certain sitting president took office, he was regularly mocked in the media for his regular indulgence in restorative naps.