I’ve always been a big fan of positive, upbeat, well-written blogs. Note that while I’ve been a fan of them, I didn’t say that I have any experience writing one of them. Because honestly – and that’s why we come here, to be honest – you don’t expect me to write well, or be positive, or happy. So I’m going to continue in that vein so as not to disappoint you.
Today’s subject? Naps.
We all know how to take them, we just don’t know why and we just don’t know for how long. Long-time nap expert Dr. Pedro Flamingo from Princeton University tells us “Naps are a crucial cog in the building block of life. Through naps we recharge, regenerate and re-cognate the brain, resulting in a ‘new you’ coming out of the slumber.” However Dr. Felicia Haagendaz, medical expert emeritus at Puerto Rico Medical College counters, “People are taking the time to partake of these ‘things’ (naps) and not accepting the benefit of the daylight hours, giving them technically less life to live.”
Pretty compelling arguments, eh? Nice research, eh? Don’t worry – I made both of those things up so that I wouldn’t have to tromp my way over to Google, type in the subject I’m writing about, and then cull through hundreds of links that I don’t care about to find a quote or two. I’ve saved so much time by just making them up that I’m surprised more well-respected journalists don’t do that also. Maybe I’ll start a trend.
What is it about naps? Why can you scarcely contain your excitement to take one? There are times during the day where you feel you need them more than food, more than companionship, and more than life itself. You feel that you have to check yourself out of the world for a period of time. But WHY? It certainly can’t be the after-effects. Sure, I have taken naps where I have woken up recharged and regenerated – much like our Dr. Flamingo says above. But I can guarantee you that for every refreshing nap…. I’ve had 20 that made me feel like this afterwards:
I call it naphaze. It’s that feeling of walking in slow motion with everything zipping by you at light speed. You don’t want to be talked to, talked about or touched. You know what you feel like? You FEEL LIKE YOU NEED A NAP! What in the heck good is that? Naphaze can last anywhere from 15 minutes to the entire rest of the day – and as Dr. Flamingo again so eloquently points out, “…the drawback of naps is the inability to get your cognitive synapses to fire once again like a normal well-rested human being.” Continued brilliant stuff from this guy….
So how can something that you crave so bad make you feel so crappy afterwards? It’s the same thing as the “McDonald’s Effect” – you see the Golden Arches, you NEED the Golden Arches, you HAVE the Golden Arches, your stomach feels like you ATE the Golden Arches. It’s the Cycle of Life.
The only good thing that seems to come out of naps is the 10 seconds after you first wake up – until the naphaze begins to settle on your frontal lobe. This 10 seconds of time, cleverly dubbed by me as the “time right after the nap that is awesome” is the most wonderful 10 seconds of your day. It’s the time when you don’t know where you are….where you have absolutely no worries….where your life is perfect and you have absolutely nothing to stress on. As Dr. Haagendaz stated in her article, “10 Steps to Stop Naps From Controlling Your Life” (Random House, 1987) (Wow…now I’m even FOOTNOTING random made-up quotes. This is the best thing EVER!) “Once the human brain is cleared of all stress and psychosis, the stress-bearing nodes of the lymphatic cycle once again take over and cognate themselves all over the stupid place.” (As you can see, she gets kind of technical.) Once the stress starts pouring back into your nervous system, the party is over.
So in conclusion, I guess this glorious 10 seconds is the reason that all of us take naps. That small period of time when everything is sky-blue, the grass is growing, the breeze is blowing, and the temperature is perfect. Next time you take a nap, concentrate on this 10 second period and make it last as long as possible. The next day, make it last 15 seconds….and keep increasing your time of no-stress. It will be the best medicine you can take.
I’d like to thank our esteemed experts – Drs. Flamingo and Haagendaz for their valuable input to this blog. The internet has certainly brought all of our lives closer together, but it’s as easy as ever to make crap up.