Zzzzzzz ... 8 Things Only Professional Nappers Understand

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Only Professional Nappers Understand

There's sleeping ... and then there's napping. Sleeping is great — believe me, I know. But napping, well, that's just a whole other level of bliss, one that only a select few truly appreciate.

Here are 8 things only those of us who love napping really understand. 

1. Naps are just as good as, if not better than, nighttime sleep.

When we sleep for a solid 8 hours we go through all those important stages — like REM — that mean we've gotten a deep, good night's sleep. But naps just feel good, even if they're brief or dreamless.

Sometimes, when my body wakes me up at a ridiculous hour on the weekends, I'll get out of bed and start my day rather than try to fall back asleep, just so I can treat myself to a nap later.


2. You can get a perfectly good nap with the lights on.

When it's nighttime and it's dark outside, and I'm planning to sleep for at least six hours, it feels necessary to have all the lights off. It'd be kind of creepy to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom in a room with every light on.

But daytime is a whole different ballgame. When that 2pm drowsiness hits you, it doesn't matter that every light is on and the sun is blasting in through the windows. It's naptime and you're going to fall asleep. Plus, it makes it a lot easier to wake up post-snooze and carry on with the day.


3. It's necessary to have a few minutes of alone time after a nap.

Waking up from a nap can be very disorienting. Perhaps you forgot what day or time it is, where you are, what you have to do next, or who else is home.

To overcome this confusion, it's important to take some time to re-calibrate, whether that means staring into space while still lying down or silently going about your post-nap water/snack/bathroom/Instagram catch-up routine before you engage with another human being.


4. Napping on-the-go is all about having the right nap gear.

Believe it or not, it's possible to sleep on planes (and trains, and buses, and in cars) — you just have to prepare for it. I don't go to the airport without my memory foam neck pillow, super soft travel blanket, fuzzy socks (it's freezing on planes!), and eye mask.

Sure, it may seem slightly tedious, but it's all worth it when I doze off in my seat, only to wake up to the captain telling us it's time to land.


5. The couch is FAR superior to the bed.

Listen, I love my bed. It's so comfortable and there's nothing quite like burying myself under my massive down comforter for the night. But napping in bed just messes with your head and tricks you into thinking you're in it for the long haul.

No matter how many alarms you set, it's almost impossible to wake up in bed after just an hour, and be motivated and energized for a day or night out. The couch is comfortable enough to sneak in a siesta, but your body knows it's not the spot for long-term snoozing.


6. Old sitcoms are the best natural sleep aid.

And so is HGTV.


7. It's possible to nap and still be aware of your surroundings.

Yes, during some naps you really do go into a deep, REM-like state of sleep. But usually, you're just in this perfectly relaxed, but semi-aware, state in which your brainregisters the sounds of hushed conversations, the TV, or your roommate milling about the kitchen in search of a snack.


8. Naps in the sun are the best kind of naps.

There's just something about falling asleep to the sounds of the waves, or pool splashes, or a lawn mower, with the warm sun beating down on you. It's pure bliss.

And when those fresh air surroundings and sounds register with you mid-nap, it makes it even better.