Yesterday I took a nap.
OK that’s a lie. Yesterday I took two naps. One shortly after breakfast and one in the afternoon. Altogether I probably napped close to an hour, maybe more. I wasn’t timing myself or limiting the nap time by setting an alarm. I just arranged the pillows on the sofa, covered myself with the throw, let out an audible sigh, and closed my eyes. Each time when I woke up, I felt better.
It could be the stress of current events has made me more in need of naps these days, but I’ve always been a believer. Science and psychologists agree: Naps are good for us. They help us relax, reduce fatigue, increase alertness, improve our moods and, this I really like: naps improve performance, including quicker reaction time and better memory.
Studies have also shown that naps increase creativity. Sometimes taking a little cat nap—those short ten to fifteen minutes of shut-eye—will spark the solution to some knot that’s tied up a project or offer an answer to a question you’ve been pondering. Ever wake up with an “ah ha!” and know that next scene you’re supposed to write, or how to get your character out of a jam? I have. Sometimes I even say the particular challenge out loud before I close my eyes, like offering a little prayer or request to the sleep fairy. Author Max Apple said, “If I’m stuck in the midst of a story, I take a nap. It often works, and if it doesn’t, I still feel better.”
Let me tell you about the nap. It’s absolutely fantastic. -Philip Roth
I nap on a daily basis like a cross-country trucker. -Mary Carr
How about you? Are you a nap-taker?