Monday, July 16, 2007

Nap Time

If you and I happen to be in the middle of a conversation, and my eyelids start to lower and my head falls forward, don't take it personally. Check your watch. The big hand is likely on 12 and the little on 1, signaling time for my nap.

Daily 1 p.m. naps are a strict rule in the Soloway-Madison household. To assure that postal workers, UPS drivers, Watchtower evangelists, or other doorbell ringers heed our sacred hour, Tommy and I post a note on our mailbox pleading for silence. Our visitors likely pause as their fingers near our bell, read the well-worn sign, and believe their compliance protects a sleeping baby from stirring. Whatever.

Before you deride our daily habit, you should know that health experts praise nappers, and also that many famous people were fervent nappers. First, the benefits of napping: In a Feb. 13, 2007 article in The New York Times (my absolute favorite newspaper and source of all of my boorish conversation starters; i.e. "According to an article in today's New York Times…), "napping at least three times a week for a half-hour was associated with a significantly decreased risk of death from heart disease." Since most of the relatives cited in my memoir succumbed to this particular scourge, I'm up for any remedy that might stave off the family inheritance.

A website devoted to the subject (did you doubt it?), adds "nature intended that we take a nap in the middle of the day." Also, "an afternoon nap as short as ten minutes can enhance alertness, mood, and mental performance."

Second in my evidence are these famous nappers, whose accomplishments in life should further convince you of the practice's perks: Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, and several more from yet another website on the topic.

These noteworthy schlufflers likely have their own excuse for their siestas; mine is related to the hour in which I awake: 4 a.m. Please do not suggest I stay up past my usual bedtime (9 p.m.) to encourage later awakenings. Others have offered this and the result is by 10 p.m. I am wide-awake, then struggle to fall asleep, finally drop off at 1 a.m., and pop up at my traditional early hour. It's hopeless.

As for Tommy, I don't know his defense. He sleeps soundly from 10 p.m. to 5:45 a.m., returns for a morning nap from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m., and joins me in our joint 1 p.m. nap. Lest you think my spouse is aged or infirm, know that he is a vigorous guy who recently made the front page of the Lakeview YMCA newsletter.

And naturally Buddy, our 9-year-old Golden Retriever, accompanies Tommy and me for all bedtime snoozes. Flat-dogging* it on our bedroom floor, Buddy is happy to be part of our daily ritual. The only problem is that our dog's superlative hearing allows him to detect the footsteps of the postal worker, UPS driver, and evangelist. Duty calls, Buddy barks. Goodbye naptime. For me, of course. Nothing disturbs my Tommy.

*I have tried several times to take a photograph of Buddy in his flat-dog position. Have you ever successfully crept up on a sleeping canine and attempted a flash? Not possible; this one will have to do.

Yawn…. Honest it's not you. Time to…zzz, zzz, zzz.


therapydoc said...

So why would anyone get upset with me for nodding off in a session?

Just kidding. Great post.

1 more things to add:

In Israel and all over the world, the siesta is taken for granted and there are fewer sexual dysfunction problems. Makes sense, right?

Anonymous said...

I'm with ya on the naps! I'm a lifelong napper. Rock on!


Anonymous said...

I loved the blog.


Guilty Secret said...

I always make a regular habit of napping at weekends and when on holiday and I miss it so much when I'm working! Thanks for a great post.

Jill said...

Didn't realize your ultimate nap time is 1 to 2. I won't call between those hours. I'd like to be down from 3:45 to 4:15 every day-- that's my favorite time

Anonymous said...


Normally , the afternoon naps are associated with old age, it comes with the territory.
I happen to be afflicted with "napmania", and it strikes me at all hours of the day.

Your term, "nap", has to have more pazzazz. In the old days we would call it "cat nap". Buddy would object to that one. Or how about "Siesta?" Nah! the Watchtower prosletizers reading the note on your door would have to be bi-lingual.

Your "nap" sounds so bland..."so ordinary" (Lilly Von Shthup-Blazzing Saddles)

May I humbly submit to you the term that I use for my naps....."POWER NAPS"

I borrowed it years ago after reading about JBJ's routine when he was in town and working in the White House. He would take a 45 minute Power Nap...most times solo...but "when the need arose" (pun intended) he would have willing company from the secretarial pool.

Forget about having your finger on the nuclear button..."that is the power of the presidency."

Thanks for keeping in touch - when awake...COUSIN MAX

Anonymous said...

Elaine, I hear you!
Last winter the young lady next door found she'd locked herself out of her house when she went to clear the snow off her steps and check for mail. She came to us and we tried to make her comfortable, sat her down in our living room, gave her hot coffee and some sustenance and the use of our phone so that she could arrange to be rescued.
All of this occurred just as we'd finished watching the noon news and we hung in tough until, a few hours later, help arrived and she was whisked away. Our bodies then became horizontal in record time and I marveled that I could have remained conversant and pleasant with her during my "zero hour"!


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed nap time very much but I'll have to finish later, it seems I can't keep my eyes open. Love Ya bro

Anonymous said...

Hi, Elaine.

I was overdue for a Soloway blog fix, but now for some reason I'm feeling a little snoozy...


Veronica said...

First - Great to have met you over the weekend.

next - my partner swears by naps! Too bad they often leave him a bit grumpy.

I think I'd nap more often on the weekends if they weren't the only time when both him and the daughter were sleeping.

nice blog, btw.

Anonymous said...

i only read the nap blog, and i look forward to reading more!

take good care!


BAC said...

Great post! I would love to be able to nap during the day, but there are always people coming into my office, or the phone rings ... you get it.

A couple of weeks ago I had a steady stream of staff coming in with questions. I finally said, 'the next time you come in you'd better be carrying chocolate!'

It was great meeting you at the NOW conference. The BlogHer conference (in Chicago) is in a few days ... hope to see you there!


Anonymous said...


like all Americans who have mailboxes, we get loads of junque mail, which we quickly dispose of in our shredder.
we also get about 3-4 glossy magazine type publications every month, mostly featuring ads, but perhaps an article or two.
there is one with the name of our zip the latest edition last Saturday and it had an article on

"The benefits of an afternoon nap" mailed it to you yesterday.

"Look into my are getting sleeeepyy"



Anonymous said...

August 10 -- Sending wishes for the happiest and best of birthdays, Elaine -- Thanks for your gift to us of wonderful stories, wonderful memories, wonderful friends and family messages ... So, take a nap, schlep a bag, plan a move ... and keep writing! Ann in New Mexico

Doris said...

I love naps especially when we're in Baja with the ocean breezes. Walter is on his second one today and it's only 11:45 a.m. Sadie takes about ten a day (she's a schnauzer, though). Sometimes I nap unexpectedly during conference calls at the office -- I don't recommend this.