This is a terrific article on one of life’s unsung pleasures.
To be an enthusiastic napper in 21st-century North America is to be out of step with your time and place. In most of the industrialized world, a nap is seen as a sign of weakness, either physical or moral. The very young and the very old nap. Sick people nap.
Bums nap. Healthy, productive adults do not nap.
We are a culture that celebrates action, doing, achieving, an attitude that leads to a disdain for sleep in general. We stay up late and get up early. We pull all-nighters. We'll sleep when we're dead, and in the meantime there's always a Starbucks on the corner.
As a species, we seem designed to nap. Sleep researchers have long known that our natural circadian rhythms show two distinct dips in energy and alertness. The major dip starts in the late evening, helping us get ready for a good night's sleep.
But there's another significant dip in the early afternoon that, in a saner world, would have us all dropping off. From an evolutionary point of view, this pattern makes some sense — our ancestors evolved in the tropics, where a desire to sleep during the hottest part of the day probably helped ensure survival.
Terrific stuff and I know that frayed, who seems have three or four of these a day would agree. But she’s asleep right now.