June 17, 2008 12:25 PM   Subscribe

How to nap, a cheat sheet from the Boston Globe. Via

More tips and ruminations on napping: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Why you should do it: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
posted by jbickers (30 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
So, wait, their suggestions are that it's easier to fall asleep lying down than sitting up, that you should turn down the lights, use a blanket if it's cold, and use earplugs or white noise if it's loud? Who do they think actually needs these tips, retarded aliens from Planet NeverSleptBefore?
posted by dersins at 12:31 PM on June 17, 2008 [6 favorites]

Paging user: The Power Nap.
posted by Eideteker at 12:37 PM on June 17, 2008

Wow, that really put me to sleep. Thanks!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:40 PM on June 17, 2008

The real conundrum is taking a short nap and actually waking up refreshed, instead of feeling more sluggish and tired than you were before you took the nap.
posted by wabbittwax at 12:43 PM on June 17, 2008

Damn, does everyone who reads a newspaper not have a clue as to how to work their bodies/minds?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:45 PM on June 17, 2008

On another note, it was weird to read your (second) link #5 and realize that the reason "UCSD researcher Sara Mednick" looks so damn familiar is that I went to (a very small) college with her. The world, she is a tiny place, apparently.
posted by dersins at 12:45 PM on June 17, 2008

posted by stbalbach at 12:51 PM on June 17, 2008

I wouldn't mind taking a nap with Sara Mednick.
posted by tadellin at 12:56 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Whaaaa? Sorry, I just woke up.
posted by clearly at 12:56 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't need a cheat sheet on how to nap, I need a cheat sheet on how to convince my employers that it's good for me to nap. Bastards.
posted by chrominance at 12:57 PM on June 17, 2008 [6 favorites]

I can't nap at work anymore. They say my snoring keeps my co-workers awake.
posted by Floydd at 12:59 PM on June 17, 2008

Why does the icon for REM sleep look more like crashing on the couch in an alcohol-based stupor?
posted by pixlboi at 1:01 PM on June 17, 2008

The world, she is a tiny place, apparently.

I didn't go to school with either of you, so it can't be that tiny.

I thought that the part of the article about the optimal length for napping was interesting, because have never been able to nap without feeling tired the rest of the day. Still, the "use a blanket if your cold" stuff certainly seemed a lot like they were trying to fill column inches.
posted by moonbiter at 1:05 PM on June 17, 2008

I am now more determined than ever to open an Executive Nap Center in a business district near you. You can choose to lay on a mat, find a dark conference room, or just put your head on the desk. Graham crackers and milk will be served.
posted by Gungho at 1:06 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

How to nap at work -- and not get caught!
posted by ericb at 1:11 PM on June 17, 2008

In the main link, they seem to be missing the crucial part played by Bob Ross and "The Joy of Painting". Golf on TV is an adequate substitute.
posted by LionIndex at 1:21 PM on June 17, 2008 [4 favorites]

It's not just "use a blanket if your cold" (or even that actually) but it's "don't use too heavy a blanket, or you'll sleep more deeply than you intended."

Gungho, I can say without reservation that I would want a reservation. 2-3 p.m. block, please, for your Executive Nap Center. When I was having babies I seriously considered checking into a hotel room many days, just for the 1 hour afternoon nap I desperately needed.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:22 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray.
posted by Dizzy at 1:26 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

I mastered napping during Basic Training (Army) in the 80s. First, before any classes, I'd have a friend draw eyeballs on my eyelids. That mostly worked, except I did get caught once, but my drill sergeant was amused and there wasn't much punishment. Secondly, whenever there was a spare minute in the barracks, I'd climb *under* my cot, hook my fingers into the bed springs above me, and then crash. Had a sarge come by more than once and ask what I was doing, at which point I'd wake up, clench my fingers and tell him I was tightening up my bedding. That one always worked.

My best nap ever though, I had while we were at the beginning stage of a 20-mile road march, before the sun had come up. I was never able to duplicate it, and I guess it was just sheer exhaustion that made it possible, but I fell asleep while marching. My feet kept moving, the pace stayed the same, but my eyes were closed and I was asleep. That went along pretty well for a while, but then the road slowly veered to the left. My eyes being closed, I didn't know that, so I kept marching straight ahead, slowly drifting out of the formation until I finally walked completely off the road, tripped over a rock, and fell on my face, at which time my entire company burst into laughter. Apparently they'd been watching in awe as I nap-marched my way off the road and woke myself up.
posted by jamstigator at 1:35 PM on June 17, 2008 [11 favorites]

I think this nap theory works wel......
posted by gcbv at 1:44 PM on June 17, 2008

Next: How to wipe your ass.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:50 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hoot! I'm an owl.

But I wish I was a lark. My life would be at least 5 - 7% easier.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 2:10 PM on June 17, 2008

forget naps, Provigil is where it's at.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:40 PM on June 17, 2008

What about those of us who cannot nap at all, no matter how exhausted?

Curse those who can curl up for 20 minutes! I lie there staring at the insides of my eyelids, aware of every itch and grunt.
posted by jrochest at 3:46 PM on June 17, 2008

Whatever you do, don't stretch first.
posted by autodidact at 3:48 PM on June 17, 2008

A couple of years ago I lost the ability to nap. Seriously, I used to be able to take some bad ass, hour and a half naps that were like a gift from the heavens. I'd wake up refreshed and able to stay up all night if I needed. Now, not only can't I nap, my nightly sleep has gone to hell as well.

This probably explains why I'm grouchy all the time.
posted by quin at 3:56 PM on June 17, 2008

Next: How to wipe your ass.

Already covered [NSFW].
posted by ericb at 4:10 PM on June 17, 2008

Even though most here seem mystified that someone would need advice on how to take a good nap, I thank you very much for the post, jbickers.

I have been contemplating working a nap into my sleep schedule for a while now because I am a serious grumplestiltskin in the afternoons. Hate. Them. And yet I can't manage a successful nap. I was going to have to do exhaustive research into naps but you've provided a great start here.
posted by bobobox at 4:31 PM on June 17, 2008

true story:
i fell asleep reading this on my dad's couch on father's day. clearly, i need no cheat sheet.
posted by es_de_bah at 5:41 AM on June 18, 2008

Give me a 20 minuter and it's a good day. If I sleep more than an hour, I'm just grouchy until 10 at night, and then I'm awake until 1 in the morning.
posted by carmelita at 4:29 PM on June 18, 2008

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