america needs a nap


It’s the middle of the day -- maybe noon, maybe 2, maybe 4 -- and a light switch goes off in your head. Nervous, shaky, you start judging yourself: I’m all washed up, useless, lazy, soft, stupid, old.

You run for coffee, grab a breath of fresh air, get up and walk around, try to keep busy. Maybe you reach for dark chocolate -- it’s an emergency! -- thinking it will help your heart which may be failing since you feel so faint.

You close your eyes for a second. If only . . . you could justify it, get away with it, let go of the guilt.

Admit it: You want to take a nap. Cuddle up and lay your bobbing head down to rest. If only . . . this wasn’t America.

It’s time to take our heads out of the sand and put them on a pillow. Napping in this country -- as sleep-deprived zombies know -- is often bullied as the slacker’s Achilles heel, the dark cave of the unemployed sloth. Embarrassing. Sluggish. Weak.

But that’s old school.

Today the nap is increasingly touted as the darling of intellectual and artistic types, doctors and scientists, business people who say small sips of dead-to-the-world is a smart way to boost your focus, brighten your mood, and rev up those creative juices so you don’t sit there staring into space researching topics like naps.

Caught me!

Besides, with all this recent attention on trade, a nap may be the best deal we have. Some of those siesta countries are now going straight through the day, push, push, push, becoming more like us.

Maybe it’s time we take their afternoon lull in return, shift the balance of trade in our yawning direction.

Personally, I’m ready to concede I enjoy a brief climb down the deep well of oblivion and why not. Why not join the long list of superior folks who had the guts to confess: Einstein, Churchill, Dali, DaVinci. Who doesn’t want to be superior?

Did you know a full third of the adult population takes naps? That includes not just dull people but perky millennials who are more flexible about the 9 to 5. Better to grab a few winks than another cup of java or a jar of jelly beans.

Naps are pesticide-free, caffeine-free, sugar-free.

Old school: Naps are for quitters. New school: Naps are for doers who want to be at the top of their game.

A 20-30 minute power snooze on your back, in your car, under your desk -- that’s the perfect amount of time to plug in the charger. Any complaints?

No doubt we’ve made great strides. Latest news is nap rooms are rolling out at top companies. Google and NASA have installed sleep pods to coddle brains that would rather be briefly wrapped in swaddling then banging down on a desk.

It can get bloody.

As you can tell, I’m building a case for a national nap proclamation. With perhaps unanimous voter support, I state the following:

In this age when things we never thought possible are possible -- gay marriage, medical marijuana, a reality show president -- let’s give up the illusion that a full day without a period of stone cold unconsciousness is good for us.

It’s free, it’s easy, it’s quick, it’s painless.

You don’t need to smoke it or drink it or let it melt under your tongue or pop it or vape it. You don’t need to buy it. It costs nothing.

Name one other thing that feels as good and -- as the research says -- is so good for you. Soothes the heart, reduces stress, accidents, dementia, makes you nicer to live with, improves stamina, memory, cognitive ability and helps you look younger.

You can even share it.

It’s time America. We have some problems going on here and we have no easy solutions. Here’s one: Maybe the whole country could use a nap.

Remember how your kids were when they didn’t get one?

Ready, set, let’s practice . . .

April 6, 2018

back to recent columns

send me an e-mail