Nap Time

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I remember when I was studying in Italy they taught us about the "siesta". Small shops and businesses would close during the day for a 2 hour break. People would go home, have lunch, take a nap and go back to work. I seriously am living in the wrong country & century. I have little doubt that my italian ancestors were the biggest proponents of this idea.

I'm not designed like other "normal" people. You know those people. They can go to bed at midnight, wake up at 6am and put in a full day of work, all happy and cheery like.

Um, well, I must have inherited the sleep gene from my father's side of the family.

First off, unlike the "doctor recommended" 8 hours of sleep most people need, I need like 11 hours to feel normal. Otherwise I wake up cranky and will stay cranky for a good 2 hours until I wake up. I actually tell my coworkers that. I tell them not to bother me until 11am, when I wake up - unless it is an emergency. The first two hours of work are really like 2 hours of trying to do anything BUT work if I can help it.

During spring 2003, I got really bad with my sleep habits. It was when I was bartending on Monday nights, playing darts on Tuesday nights and bartending every fourth Wednesday, along with my weekend shift. On the nights I bartended, I would get out of the bar by 2:30am and have to be awake for work by 7:30am. Tuesdays I was finished playing darts by midnight. I know people in my life that somehow, without the need for drugs (not counting caffeine) can survive on little sleep. I'm not one of those people.

My solution was that I would take hourly nap sessions. I work in midtown, and there was no chance I could fall asleep anywhere in the office. So I had to go outside. I spent weeks scouring the area, looking for a public place where I could zone out without attracting too much attention.

One day, I was walking in Central Park. I don't go there very often, but it was a nice spring day, with a warm sun shining. People were feeding the ducks, walking around the trails, sitting on benches and lying on the grass sunbathing...

In Family Guy's Stewie Voice: Sunbathing? Oooh. Well, well.

Inspired, I went out and bought a beach blanket. I would put it in my messenger bag (also derided by my female friends as the "man-purse"), and go out for my lunch break to Central Park. I found a nice grassy area with a lot of trees, and other sunbathers. I would roll out my blanket, take off my shoes, put my messenger bag under my head and doze for about 30-40 minutes. I didn't even set an alarm - for whatever reason my body wouldn't let me oversleep more than 30-40 minutes. I knew I had to go back to work, so I think my subconscious would wake me up after it got that nap kick start.

Once winter hit, two things happened. One, I lost my job bartending. Two, it was tempting to attempt to get a sleeping bag & disguise myself as a homeless guy and sleep on a warm city grate, but I just stopped. I joined a gym. I stopped smoking. That helped a bit.

Why am I writing about all of this? Beacuse the other night was typical for my body sleep clock. I got home from work at 7pm and I was really tired but know its a bad idea for me to nap at 7pm it just throws my entire sleep schedule into flux. I got a new book "Maury & Me" and started to read it. I got a few chapters in, and I wanted "just a quick nap". My digital egg timer is next to my bed (don't ask), and I set it for 20 minutes.

Those sped by in a flash, the beep-beep-beep rouses me from my slumber. I re-set it for another 25 minutes. I don't recall what happened after that until I woke up at 11:30pm!

Oh boy, was I awake! I wish I felt this good in the morning.

I try to fall back asleep, but my body will have none of it. I turn on the computer and play video games until 3am. I start to feel tired again. I go back to sleep, and sleep thru my clock alarm until 8am. I'm really late. I'm up like a flash, cursing myself the whole time and skittering out the door.

It's like a constant battle, sleep and me.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on January 27, 2006 12:21 AM.

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