Sometimes, the perfect nap is all you need. Here’s how I do it.
The bed is right there, literally asking you to dance. It’s 65 degrees outside so the air conditioning isn’t needed but the heat won’t help you either if you get too chilly. You open the windows and let the sounds of the outside world carry you into a relaxed state. It’s nap time.
That time where everything stops. Slows down for a moment. The brain can recharge or brainstorm erratic futures via the dream stage. Some of the best parts of my life have been those exhausted moments right before you crawl into a warm bed and wrap yourself up in the covers. Or you collapse on the couch and roll into it. It takes a few adjustments but eventually the pilot in your cerebral cortex nods at you that comfortable has been found. This is the best. You realize you will actually get to sleep.
The cell phone is set down. The bills that you owe stay folded in the office, locked up because they don’t have legs. The kids are either at daycare, asleep themselves or losing themselves in a movie. The door is bolted and the kid is trusted. It’s better if they are being watched because this will deter from a good nap. Worry and tension aren’t welcome in a warm bed. They are assholes who hold your mind ransom for hours. Let’s say the kid is gone and in good care. It’s just you, the remote, and the cell phone with the bed calling your name.
I have often thought of humans as flawed manually operated computers or cell phones. We can run for a long time but sooner or later a charge will be needed. A rest. I am not talking black coffee or a red bull. I am talking sleep. Shut eye. A snooze. Take the shoes and socks off, get horizontal and drift for a bit. Our minds can only go for so long before they start to fry. Headaches, itchy eyes and blurred vision are all signs of stop fucking around and sleep.
I get 4-5 hours on average per night/day. Sometimes 7-8. It depends. The feeling of sleep deprivation is an apparent one with me. I am a writer, tireless in subjects that I can reach. I have a kid. A wife. I am a stay at home dad. Parents don’t get days off. At least good ones don’t. I cook, clean, care for, write, and clean some more. I drink a lot of coffee. I don’t like sugar but we sleep with each other on occasion via a box of Boston Baked Beans or Skittles. I work out and find fitness wherever I can, like a dog chasing its own reflection on a wall. I don’t stop so when I finally do, it’s epic.
The bed commands my attention. It doesn’t talk back. It just wants to stay warm and a body is needed for that. Like two things coming together for shelter in a storm. You lay down, and attempt to watch something, like 13 minutes of an hour long television show. It’s hopeless but like a child’s bedtime book being acted out by very good looking people. Or you just listen to the outside sounds. Car horns, birds, kids playing close by or the wind whipping around the building. Soundtracks aren’t hard to find once you open the windows. The best writers work with the windows open. The best sleep happens then too. You shouldn’t get too comfortable though. There needs to be an edge in your slumber. So when you do fall, you fall hard and sudden.
You wake up and it could be the year 2030 with World War III going on outside. Whatever it is, you’ll deal with it after your first cup of coffee is being downloaded into your system, like a computer taking time to reboot after an improper shutdown sequence.
No matter what happens, you will feel better. The body is charged. The mood is improving. You may want more sleep, but the more you do the more awake you will feel. There will be a push in your steps. Energy is stored so you can access it easily. Water is good. Exercise is fine. Freedom of speech is eternal. Sleep is required to fully function. It could be a small or large amount. When you get it, you know it. There’s good sleep and there’s tossing and turning.
Do yourself and the others around you a favor and find some good sleep. Take the perfect nap.