Sweet dreams – experts say taking a nap is good for you
D O YOU ever take a morning nap or a postprandial siesta or even sneak time for an early evening snooze? I do. The only reason I mention it is because I saw a report the other day which proudly announced that after years of research some publicly funded scientists had made a ground breaking discovery. Taking a nap is good for you. Apparently it boosts the brain and helps you concentrate. Seriously? I don't think you need a Phd or funding or a fancy job title to work that one out. After all, I'm not a scientist but I've been taking so called, power naps, for as long as I can remember. My own research has led me to the earth-shattering conclusion that as well as doing all the above. They also make you feel a lot better. Now, where do I sign up for a government grant?
Not that I'm against research, having been doing my own experiments on the subject for years. After a couple of decades of trying out different dozing techniques I can now confidently assert that that there are several different types of nap. I've even split them up into distinct categories. There are summer ones, winter ones and befuddlers. See if you recognise any of them from your own research.
The summer ones go something like this. Imagine you're out in the garden, the sun is shining and cricket is on the radio. If you're lucky, it'll be a test match between Australia and England and we'll be kicking their sackbuts. If you're even luckier still, you'll also be drinking something cool and fizzy and not dissimilar to Pimms. After a while the alcohol will bubble up to your head and your eyes will start to feel heavy. You'll fight it for a bit but after a while you'll realise it's pointless to resist. Your eyelids will drift down and before you know it, you're away in the land of nod enjoying 40 winks. Time passes, noises start to appear in the background and you gently float back to consciousness. You've just had a summer snooze.
Winter ones go more like this. You've had a hard day at work and come back home for a nice spot of supper. You've finished your food and you're enjoying a truly satisfying cup of tea. The heating is burbling away in the background and everything is just beginning to feel comfortably numb. If you're lucky enough to have a real fire in the lounge, it's flickering away merrily in the grate and all is definitely right with the world. You grab a couple of cushions and snuggle down onto the sofa. You pop the telly on and find something suitably simple to watch. After a while your shoulders sag as you relax into the moment. Your head finds a comfy corner of the cushion and your eyes begin to feel as if they need a rest. Next thing you know, you're drifting through time and space and you can hear the gentle sound of someone snoring nearby. Then you pop your head over the parapet and realise you're the one doing the snoring. Time to wake up with a smile on your face. That is a winter snooze, right there.
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The befuddlers are those snoozes that leave you all confused and well, befuddled, when you drag yourself back awake at the end. They go something like this. One minute you're asleep and the next something nearby makes you jump. You open your eyes and look around the room. Nothing makes sense. You don't know where you are or why. Happened to me the other day. I opened my eyes and saw a brightly lit street scene. It felt like something you'd see in The Beano or The Dandy. Then I looked around and realised I was lying on a giant sofa that looked like something out of a cartoon. Worse still, I appeared to be wearing tight fitting black clothes that wouldn't have been out of place on a really pathetic superhero.
I would say that was a true befuddler, but actually I'd been snoozing on the Bottom Knocker Street set at lunchtime. Sigh.
Anyway, that's enough about snoozing. All that thinking has made me a trifle weary. My brain hasn't quite started to ache yet but it's definitely getting close. So if you'll just excuse me, I think it's time to boost my little grey cells if you know what I mean. Time to take my daily dose of concentrating medicine. Time to improve my refreshment levels. In other words. I'm off for a siesta. Now don't be shy, there's no shame in it. Feel free to do the same. Put down the paper, put up your feet and let those eyelids get heavy. It's that time again. Sweet dreams.