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Napping is for life not just for babies! Thursday November 28, 2013

Living with an inconvenient illness called narcolepsy, I know a thing or two about the art of napping. It's a frustrating necessity that my life revolves around little sleeps so that a) I remain well and b) so that I don't fall asleep at inconvenient times. This is a non-negotiable way of life for me and so I sometimes forget that the rest of the population don't need naps. Still, I believe that in the sleep deprived, don't-stop-until-you-drop-culture in which we live, napping ought to be embraced!

Scientific studies have shown that naps can have a positive impact on our mood and performance. Sadly though, we seem to struggle to overcome the judgment that napping is only for babies or lazy, idle folk.

If Richard Branson or some other entrepreneur out there should ever be in need of a new incongruous brainstorm with bravura, oh please, please, could there be something called "The Somnolent Saloon" in shopping malls or department stores? I would happily, gladly, gleefully pay for this service! (For me, finding a safe napping ground is as important as finding a public convenience when needed.)

It could be something akin to what Selfridges, London, launched earlier this year - The Silence Room. The idea is that there is a room with soft lighting, away from all the hustle and bustle, where one can sit quietly (shoes and technology are put in a locker before entering), relax and if you so wish, nap.

I was excited to check out this new concept during a recent visit to London. Alas, alack, it is no more. How sad and shortsighted.

Harry Gordon Selfridge was the first to initiate a silence room back in 1909. Yes, perhaps it was ostensible - he knew that by providing a resting place to re-coop energy, customers would stay in his store longer - but still, I feel he was on to something. It would surely have enhanced the customer's shopping experience.

If Napping will enhance and sharpen our working performance and daily efficiency, let's not hide our naps or be ashamed of napping. Ask your family, boss or co-workers not to disturb your 40 winks. Assure them you'll be the better, happier worker for it. Embrace the nap!

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Nick Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 8:24am

Good idea Suzy.
I find that supermarkets are somewhat deficient in providing adequate seating areas to allow customers to collect their thoughts, work out their finances and generally think about possible purchases. I am sure that such areas would prove to enhance ones mood and relax shoppers enabling them to return to the fray refreshed!

Anonymous Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 8:37am

What a great idea,
I often get to the point where I feel physically ill due to lack of sleep, and the one and only thing that can restore me to health is a 15 min nap.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 8:41am

Great post, Suzy. I like a nap too; they're underrated as pick-me-ups.

I once worked for an organisation where the CEO suffered from Narcolepsy. We had a "quiet room" where you could go to think, recover from a headache, or yes, take a nap. A very far-sighted organisation, that.

Julia Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 8:50am

A very interesting post Suzy. I am really sorry to hear you suffer from narcolepsy but it appears from what you say, you are able to structure your life around your health issue. I too am able to do this as I no longer work.

Neil Stamper Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 9:04am


Julia Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 9:46am

I'm the same

Lostinspace Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 12:16pm

I love the Zzzz, made me laugh out loud. I have to nap every day and can then carry on. I can go without it but tend to get ill if I force my body to continue when it doesn't want to. I feel incredibly guilty doing it and long to be full of energy and not need this. It's health related too, the doctor here prescribed medication for a mild heart problem which then became unavailable and when I went to the U.K. the doctor there said it was depression and prescribed for that. Julia I would love to have your e-mail, I have been thinking about it and worrying that it might be a burden for you - there you go, generational!

Nick Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 6:13pm

I too have a narcoleptic illness and slip into and out of diabetic coma's also. - The Tory and Lib Dems CONDEMNation Coalition of the killing seems to think I'm just lazy white trash who deserves nothing to live on - both giving me excess stress to affect my narcolepsy and a lack of food or poor sugar control affecting my diabetes. Anything that highlights the existance of these sleep related conditions is EXCELLENT. - I urge all Moodscope users using this site to email their MP and ask WHY sleep disease sufferers are ignored by the welfare system and ATOS Assessment system and forced into inappropriate slave labour for their modest £56+ a week. I don't want to be on benefit BUT No private corporation wants to take on someone who might crash out at any moment fearing a law suit. We need politicians to understand that Sleepy People aren't lazy But their body just works differently to your average Joe, Jayne, Fred & Fiona. - better still come elections in May use your vote to VOTE Against this shower of discrimanatory heartless soles and choice another party. Many Thank N SCALES, Moodscope Dependent, Surrey/Hampshire fringe.

Anonymous Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 11:00pm

I am now sadly a single mum as my husband kicked me out. My children and I had to move. Its been horrible and I did it with fibromyalgia...CFS....type 1 diabetes which I am resistant to my meds for so makes things difficult. I have to sleep in the day.some days are worse than others. Went through atos. Now on prospects group. Moved along to new person cause of my progress.....what progress? The illnesses havent dissapeared....I had already done the expert patient program and tried allsorts......I have a very good understanding of my conditions and I try my best......EFT is what has made the biggest difference. .....but I still have to rest in the day......but cant get past the feeling I look like im being lazy....

Julia Fri, Nov 29th 2013 @ 9:00am

You have had such a lot to put up with haven't you and it seems you are still in a very difficult position but despite everything, you are holding it together. You may not think you are at times but the fact that you are trying to get yourself better and are looking after your children says that you are much stronger than you think. You don't strike me as being lazy. Far from it!! I don't know what EFT is..sorry..but you know what makes you better and you must tell your Dr this is the only thing that is working right now. EFT and rest. Be strong and forget about being or appearing lazy. Forget that now. You need to "be lazy" to get better! Do let us know how you get on and well done for telling us how you feel. That in itself takes a lot of courage.

Anonymous Fri, Dec 6th 2013 @ 6:30pm

Having been a freelance consultant for many years, I appreciated my ability to structure my own time. I frequently would nap in the afternoon in order to channel fresh energy into my work.

Now working for an organization, I have had to really think through how to get my 20 minute nap. The proliferation of coffee shops that are busy in the afternoons signals that many people experience an energy drop after lunch. And rather than intentionally dropping further down into a nap they artificially ramp up their energy.

Not for me. So here was my logic: hotels have rooms they might let out for half an hour if I use a cot and didn't disturb the room. Then maybe not because they are not really set up for less than overnight stays.

It had to be something already in the market that allowed short private times ... then it struck me: tanning rooms! The closest to me is several blocks away. I went in and this is how the conversation went:
Me: I have an unusual request. Can I use a room but leave the tanning lights off?
Owner: You mean how don't want to get a tan?
Me: Yeah, I just need a nap space for about 20 minutes.
Owner: I can't see why not. Here's the deal ... 15 sessions for $45.
Me: Deal!

What was really fun was everyone who worked there knew who I was when I dropped in for my no-light sessions.

The other thing I do is use the conference room in the building if no one has it booked. I sit or lie back in the corner away from view to any casual passerby.


Silvia A Tue, Feb 11th 2014 @ 12:14am

I agree!

Silvia A Sun, May 4th 2014 @ 3:28am

I've just read these articles:

Portraits of Narcolepsy in New York City
Inside the disquieting lives of five people who struggle with sleep in the city that never does

5 Surprising Benefits Of: Naps (Including the Best Time to Take Them)

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