Being able to catch a quick 40 winks can be a life saver for me. I usually find a patch of the afternoon, mid-afternoon, when I start flagging. My eyes start becoming heavy and ache, an ache that might drift round to the back of my head. I notice that my ability to focus or be productive in my work, dives. I can push myself to keep going, but my work becomes less focused and more fractured. I know that what I really want is to stop, rest my body, and close my eyes.
If I am at home, I will lie on my bed or curl up on a chair - I was on the sofa this afternoon - but I have been known to doze in the car, get out of the chair that I am sitting on and just lie on the floor, or even escape to the bathroom in a house that I am visiting, curl up on the floor of and drift off for 10 or 15 minutes, my hand acting as a pillow. The weariness can be so great that provided I am warm - coldness, especially cold shoulders, appear to be what keep me awake - I will fall asleep or drift into a deep in between state, almost anywhere.
There is a quality to catnapping for me which is very different to a regular night’s sleep. It is not that. It is like a quick refuel which will get me through the remaining hours of the day. I am still ready for bed come the end of the day. But the nap feels as though it takes me deep, to a deep place of rest. I close my eyes, withdraw inwards putting aside everything that is going on in my life and drift off. I am always amazed at just how refreshed I feel afterwards. Indeed research has shown the benefits to mental performance of such power naps.
Without that ability to take a quick catnap, making it through the days would be much harder for me. I put some of my need for these power naps down to the years that I suffered from chronic fatigue, more of which I plan to write about soon. I have also wondered what part my introverted and highly sensitive personality play in my need for a nap? If my day is more in a flow, running more with my needs, there is less of a need for a nap.
For now though I am grateful for the ability to be able to take a quick nap, and especially not necessarily needing a bed to flop into when I need to grab one.