Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Art of Napping

Napping is the act of having a wee bit of sleep time when one cannot have continuous sleep.  It is a skill that is often taken for granted.  Most have napped at some times.  It's well recognised in the animal kingdom. Yet it's really advanced adherents have seldom been studied with the respect their contribution to the art deserves.
There is of course wakefulness.  Then there is a state of altered consciousness which is akin to sacred meditation.  Napping is the "unconscious' meditative response to the world. It's a 'waiting phase'.
Napping has been much maligned by the military since napping on duty is a terrible offense.  It's equally not good to nap while operating a moving vehicle.
My father and my dog, Gilbert, however are both prodigious nappers. When they came together they indeed found they had in common this advanced development.  Together they napped with each moaning fitfully at times and occasionally even snoring.  What seemed to trigger napping in my father was food. Gilbert was equally napworthy after a meal. Together after a meal their naps were inseparable.
I imagined they were dreaming together and Gilbert hunting together through some glen while their bodies sat together .  Dad sat, with his head back, while Gilbert curled up or rolled slightly onto his back, his little feet moving as if running at times.
I had thought to study napping in depth however I found sitting with my two subjects that napping was indeed 'infectious'.  I have no more to say on the matter than that it really is a marvellous way to spend the time after eating.  It made my meal immensely more enjoyable.  The three of us napped for an hour after breakfast daily and sometimes as much after lunch. It made our companionship all that much better.  A certain peace and contentment was present for all after a good nap.
I can't say who is better at napping, Dad or Gilbert.  They both seemed far better than me at beginning to nap.  I'd look at either and next thing I'd know they'd be napping.  I believe Dad started it and Gilbert joined whole heartedly. I was always third in the race to nap.  Whenever I'd wake momentarialy I'd notice that neither had stirred. Then somehow the two of them together would be in motion and I'd be groggy eyed coming awake to join them.
I think I must study the subject more and indeed plan to practice napping more.


Anonymous said...

does anyone know if napping leads to strokes or heart attacks

haykind said...

Normally napping wouldn't lead to strokes or heart attacks. There are a number of conditions like "pickwickian syndrome" (obesity affecting respiration) which have a pathologically napping condition. Due to lack of oxygen these people 'no off'. A number of sleep apneas can be associated with napping. Some older people 'sundown' during the day so they don't sleep at night. In this case their sleep "cycle' is off and has to be corrected. Napping, especially for a half an hour, not more is probably likely to reduce risk of CVA (stroke) or myocardial infarction (heart attack). Dad at 92 commonly naps after meals and this is probably just fine as the blood supply normally used by his head is having a marvellous time down around his stomach.