Since ancient times humans have enjoyed afternoon naps. It is a powerful way to recharge. Even today in some parts of the world people’s daily lives are segmented to allow for this revitalization. Work is interrupted, activity comes to a brief rest and things become quiet so that humans can luxuriate in the afternoon siesta.
Did humans learn this from their dogs and cats? No one knows for sure. Dogs and cats are unquestioningly masters at the art of naps. Science minded folks call it napology but the rest of us do not refer to it or discuss it in clinical terms. We just do it.
It is a way to take respite from the chaotic frenzy of the workaday world and go within to play. Dreams can be so much fun. Why restrict them only to night time?
Nowadays in America afternoon naps are discouraged because there is no productivity happening while napping and we are being conditioned to believe that we must be productive every single solitary waking minute of our lives. We are even encouraged to sleep less at night so that we have more time to be productive.
Is that why cats and dogs laugh at us behind our backs?
I used to have a cat that snored. Before she kicked the bucket she taught me the value of napping with your pet. So many times I would wake up from an afternoon nap to realize that she was sleeping on top of me. Her gentle heartbeat and mesmerizing snoring were very sleep inducing and pacifying. Sometimes she would enter my dreams to play.
My dog, before she kicked the bucket, taught me the value of getting down on the hard wooden floor and taking a nap with her. Doggies can crash out on just about any surface. I was trained to sleep on beds but my doggie taught me that humans can be perfectly comfortable sleeping on the floor, too. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. It can be surprisingly relaxing.
Did you know that by sleeping on a high bed we humans are separating ourselves from the planet? That bed is a barrier between ourselves and the life-giving energy of Mother Earth. It’s true. That’s what my doggie taught me.
I once took a nap in the morning. It threw my whole day off. I strongly feel that afternoon naps are best experienced in the afternoon. There is something about that time of day that is so conducive to napping. Have you ever noticed how active birds are in the morning and evening? Did you know that most of them take afternoon naps? Rabbits are the same way.
I once knew a fella who vehemently refused to take naps. He claimed that he had not taken an afternoon nap since early childhood. He said napping was lazy, slothful, plebeian, disgraceful, unproductive, and un-American. He died at the age of 52 from utter exhaustion.
Don’t be like that guy. Don’t be afraid to take an afternoon nap.