Tag Archives: Slumber

Classic Post: Rest Revolution

This post first appeared on April 18, 2018.

This radical confession could create cultural schisms the size of the Grand Canyon. But I believe in honesty when dealing with my readers, so here goes:

I take naps.

Oh, I know some confess to sneaky snoozes on weekends. I mean daily naps during the week, when employees buzz around workloads like frantic worker bees.

Image by Martin Tamjr from Pixabay.

“No wonder you take naps. You’re a writer,” critics point out. “What else could we expect of a degenerate who talks to imaginary people and spends half her waking hours in jammies?”

I resemble that remark. But in defense of jammies, real waistbands stifle creativity.

Back to the nap issue. Is it so difficult to believe a short rest empowers workers? In a word, yes. Anti-nap propaganda has programmed us for decades. As a college student, I never considered naps an option, not even when my then-boyfriend, now-husband, claimed I’d turned 200 pages of my zoology book, my eyes closed.

As a young office worker, I sneaked to a back room at noon and closed the drapes so no one knew I was sleeping. You would have thought I was conducting drug deals. Naps, even during breaks, make supervisors nervous. Just because my boss once tripped over my prostrate form … He recovered nicely after cardio rehab.

Like others, I have fought illegal slumber with coffees, colas and energy drinks that could substitute for rocket fuel. Some misguided souls believe noontime exercise generates energy. Since when does energy output increase energy input? They obviously have never chased after two-year-olds.

Efficient work policies include power naps, which promote employee health and safety. Alert employees are less likely to fall out of their chairs, catch their noses in machinery or flush themselves. They provide faster, friendlier service and make fewer mistakes. Studies have shown that teachers permitted a brief daily collapse are less likely to leave the country after the second day of school. Only three percent of air flight controllers who nap direct pilots to park behind McDonald’s.

Image by Seksak Kerdkanno from Pixabay.

Still, old attitudes are difficult to change. Decades passed before my breakthrough. One day, having dozed off, I awoke at my laptop to discover my fingers had purchased 307 Pampered Chef ice cream dippers.

I ejected from the computer, set my cell phone alarm and crashed.

A 45-minute, preventative nap could have saved my relatives the prospect of ice cream dipper gifts every Christmas until 2037.

“But I can’t fall asleep in 45 minutes!” some protest. Soothing music, accompanied by fake waterfalls and synthesized bird twitters, often proves effective. Other daytime insomniacs use power-of-suggestion downloads. I, however, find nothing works like the Lacrosse Channel or Bonanza reruns.

Speaking of Bonanza, the opening music has begun. Grab your blanky. Take a stand — er, sofa. Snuggle down, close your eyes and join the power nap revolution that … will change the … world … zzzzzzzzz.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you a rest revolutionary?

I Can’t Sleep Without ________

Photo by Mehmet Goren from FreeImages.

You’ve filled in the blank, haven’t you?

Whether newborn or nonagenarian, we humans believe certain conditions must be met before we can journey to Slumberland.

My grandchildren all have possessed highly personalized bedtime needs. Several have required “loveys” before “Waaaaaaa!” has turned to z-z-z, including stuffed animals, a slip and an orange.

Photo by Raija Ylonen from FreeImages.

Positioning also is important. I read of a toddler who rejected his crib. Instead, he slept atop his nightstand. I get that. My daughter often napped under my rocking chair.

Sometimes routine matters most. One grandson demanded we sing “ABC Song,” “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jingle Bells” every night. In that order. Otherwise, we would cause a monumental tear in his universe.

When little devils finally settle into angel mode, eyes closed and breathing peacefully, we’re ashamed we considered a bedtime exorcism.

Most adults, though, try to exorcise their own insomnia demons.

Of course, we’ve outgrown silly childhood rituals. …

Really?

If that were true, we wouldn’t check locks three times before retiring. Fiddle with the thermostat. Line up slippers.

If that were true, the bed-linen industry wouldn’t be making millions. We each require 26 pillows, placed just so. Also, our aptly named comforters.

Image by JityPix from Pixabay.

Some, to their spouses’ dismay, must be swaddled or, more accurately, burrito-ed. Others substitute weighted blankets, gravity blankets and sensory compression blankets to achieve that huggy feeling.

Those names scare my sleep away. A gravity blanket sends my novel-writing mind zooming off on spaceships. A sensory compression bedsheet sounds like I’m sleeping in a hamburger press. As for a weighted blanket — I often throw off covers during the night. Smacking Hubby with a thirty-pound blanket might not help him sleep.

Just sayin’.

Some adults need visual/auditory stimulation on or off. I prefer that devices sleep elsewhere so buzzes and squeaks don’t keep me awake.

Superior sleeping habits don’t guarantee a peaceful night. Unlike babies, who rarely lie awake worrying about world peace, we adults embrace sleep-bashing topics the second our heads hit the pillows. I’ve counted sheep, only to worry about their welfare. Warm baths, listening to sea sounds, sleeping with an orange — nothing worked.

Even my prayers morphed into worries.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

One night, I played an alphabet game learned in Bible school. I recalled God’s names and/or attributes that started with A, such as “Almighty” and “amazing.” Then, B: “blessed” and “beautiful.” Then C, and so on.

Before reaching G, I fell sound asleep.

Since then, I’ve prayed alphabet prayers many times.

Occasionally, my insomnia stretches from A to Z. Eventually, though, I doze off, knowing Someone bigger and better can manage the world.

And oranges stay in the fridge, where they belong.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you remedy insomnia?