Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Nap-Wagon

You may have noticed that I didn't post anything yesterday. Or maybe not, because you're probably not even reading this (though you may be reading it, I can't count that out entirely). My sad excuse is that I fell off the nap-wagon.

This happens a lot during the fall and winter months. Midwestern winters do not agree with me, and no matter what I do, I spend at least part of each day struggling to stay awake. I have what I affectionately call my lizard light, which duplicates sunlight and keeps me from sleeping all day, but try as it might, there's only so much it can do. I want to nap.

Yesterday, after getting my morning routine out of the way, I was near quivering with excitement over the idea of taking a nap. I had only gotten six hours of sleep, so I could justify it! I came home and shuffled back into my pajamas, then snuggled down under a pile of blankets and fell blissfully asleep.

This wouldn't be a problem for most people. You're out for what, an hour or two? Then you wake up, refreshed (hopefully) and pleased with yourself for the novel idea of daytime sleeping. While everyone else was at work, slaving away, or maybe drowsing over their keyboards, you were in bed, or maybe on the couch or in your favorite recliner, refilling your energy bar enough to make the rest of the day a breeze. (If you think you saw a Sims reference there, you did. Sorry 'bout that.)

Napping isn't that easy for me. Or, rather, it's too easy. I can get my usual seven hours sleep, and since I do best on nine, talk myself into just a short nap to make up the other two. I set an alarm because even in moments of faux-optimism I don't trust myself, I wonder if the meager light filtering through the shades will keep me awake, then I go unconscious for hours. Three hours, five hours, and I end up waking some time in the early afternoon, vaguely aware of having surfaced enough to turn my alarm off.

Mmmm, naps.

This is not good for the functionality of my day. By the time it's two or three o'clock, I wonder if I'll have time to do any of the things I need to do. If I shower before I get dressed (which I should), my lazy side says that I won't have time to drive across town and get groceries before I need to be home again to wait for the school bus. I certainly won't have time to go downtown and see if I qualify for housing assistance so that when I get kicked out of grad school I have someplace to live. I'd have time to start laundry, but meh, carrying it all the way downstairs and to the community building next door is such a chore.

Naps are a duplicitous friend. On one hand, it's bliss sleeping, no matter how many nights in a row I do so. On the other hand, I find that I've just spent twelve of my twenty-four hours asleep. I should just accept the seven (or four-and-a-half) hours I get at night after talking to my friends, checking Facebook, and making sure my future-rockstar Sim gets in a relationship with the girl I made him. I was aware of the time, no matter how much I might claim otherwise. I glance at the clock at least every hour and a half, and I can't pretend I lost track of four hours, because I'll never believe myself.

I promise myself that I'll use my lizard light as soon as I wake up from the nap I intend to take. I'll sit under its angry glare for three quarters of an hour, and if I do so every day for a couple of weeks, I might be able to wean myself off morning naps and start feeling sleepy at night again. It's a vicious cycle, but one I'm determined to conquer.

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