To Nap or Not to Nap....

Dear Advice Columnist,

I have a friend who was wondering -- if it's late afternoon, and I feel (I mean, she feels - this is for a friend) tired and kind of unproductive -- is it better to take a nap or just power through til bedtime?  She goes to bed really early, so it's not really very long of a time.  I'm sure I don't have to elaborate the pros and cons.

Thanks for your help.  I almost wrote "yelp".  I don't know why.

Helpful Friend

Dear Helpful Friend,

I do indeed know the pros and cons.  There is nothing worse than slogging through the last several hours of the day without the proper amount of joy.  No gasps of delight, no interesting thoughts, just the blah blah blah, plodding, one sluggish foot in front of the other like those people chained together marching up to Camp Muir, eyes looking at their boots, even though they're on one of the most beautiful spaces on the planet, with the absolutely bluest sky and invigorating lack of oxygen in the air and even a marmot chittering in the distance.

And then again, I also know what it's like to go to sleep when it's daylight and wake up some time later in the dark, confused and hungry, not sure what day, or worse yet, what season it is.  And knowing that if I get up I'll probably just eat crackers and maybe a pickle.  Or I'll do that thing where I keep looking in the refrigerator, hoping something good and already prepared is in there, but there's nothing, and I keep checking anyway.  And then I finally just eat the crackers and go back to bed and think sheesh, what was this day for?  Did I arrive on this planet just so that I could sleep through it all?  Or, is this really just the alternate universe, and this day is only one of many that I'm concurrently living, which explains the fatigue, and also allows for the possibility that in some other universe, I'm totally on it, carpe-ing the diem?

What was your question again?  Oh, right.  Choose nap.  Every single time.


  1. Nap. Shot of espresso. Finish up laundry, etc.
    Adult beverage and fix supper.
    Back to bed.
    All will be well.

    1. Good advice. Except for the laundry.

  2. For me, there are good times for naps and really, really bad times, so it's always a choice to be laboriously figured out. The good times are when I have nothing pressing to do and nowhere to go and lots of time to be awake again before bedtime. That's once or twice a year. The bad times are in the evening when I still have miles and miles to go before I sleep, and if I nap I have to do those miles and miles in the middle of the freakin' night. That is so not fun. And I'm not talking actual miles, just using the analogy or metaphor or whatever that is. My miles are things like dishes and making lunches and ironing clothes and letting the isolated cats have their free run, etc. It used to be easier, when I was able to have caffeine. Feel tired? Have coffee at 9 pm or maybe two. But it made my legs twitch and my stomach ache, so I stopped. But I just need so much more sleep now. Wow. That was a lot of complaining. Good thing you were napping right through it :)

    1. Miles and miles. Yikes. That's where we differ, Ms. Jennio. You have important stuff to get done each day, and me, not so much. It turns out that it matters not what I do each day, which is a blessing and a curse. Why put off til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely?

  3. My father just gave me his fitbit. He put it on one day and went about his business as usual and logged over 20,000 steps, so decided that he really didn't need it. Anyway, I used it to log my sleep last night and discovered (1) that I sleep really well and without disturbance, but (2) it only lasted 5 hours and 53 minutes. I mean, I could have looked at the clock and done a little mental calculation and known that I had slept for less than 6 hours, but somehow having my new fitbit telling it to me made it seem more concerning.

    So how is it that you sleep, like, a zillion hours a day, and I sleep less than 6, but I never feel like I have time to get anything done?

    I swear I'm going to go to bed earlier tonight.

    1. I guess there's a math problem in there. But if you never get anything done, subtract about 6 hours of that and you have my productivity. Which can be expressed in a formula, but I think we'd be dealing with imaginary numbers or at the very least, negative ones, and we're not for that. No sirree, Seattle Mom.

  4. Unless it's extremely inconvenient I will always opt for the nap. There will never be an end to things to do as that never stops. Naps are relaxing and rejuvenating for the most part and productive napping takes practice just as any skill would. That's what I tell my wife, anyway. She doesn't buy it either.

    1. I completely agree. We'll never be done. Might as well nap now. Tell your wife that you read it on the internet!


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