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The power of catnaps November 3, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
Tags: , , ,

OK, it would seem that maybe I just got myself into a silly little mood earlier this week! People seem to want me to stay around, and I want me to stay around – so the time has perhaps come to stop being silly! After all, I can’t be doing that badly with freelance jobs on the side and guest blogging for pretty funky publications, can I??!!

Anyway, back to the wonderful world of blogging haphazardly about the little thoughts and wonderments that cross my mind!

The art of the catnap!!

The art of the catnap!!

 (Image from here)

I was thinking, the other day, about how incredible the art of catnapping is. After all, we humans seem to be built with an innate ability to do it, all be it not quite such an impressive ability as cats may have, sleeping everywhere and only waking to eat! As babies, we catnap well, curling up and clenching our fists whilst recharging our batteries for the day ahead. This carries on into our early childhood, where nap-time is built into our day and relaxation is key. Well, relaxation and putting aside plenty of playtime.

Then, for me at least, the power of the catnap went away. I could only snooze in the day in my teens if I didn’t sleep for days on end. I would sleep in late, go to bed early – anything but take a short nap in the day. In fact, you could tell when I was ill, because I could just about be able to force my rebellious body to snooze, tetchy as it is!

It was therefor quite astounding for me to rediscover the art of the cat nap at uni. Something to do with the excessive alcohol, late nights, and unpredictable sleeping patterns of a few months at college somehow breeds even the most alert and awake of students into strange creatures with the ability to sleep wherever and whenever, and most likely in someone elses room. No longer was your bed the only one comfortable enough for you to sleep in – now any flat surface with a semblance of cushioning was ripe for the picking!

Now, with uni still fresh in my mind, I am an accomplished catnapper. I sometimes long for a hammock at work for those long afternoons, for an in-built cushion in the car where I sleep to stop myself being bored. I snooze on the sofa, if I choose, and I can even catch a couple of winks on the train.

Do you think there is something biological to this ability,some mental aging forcing me to recuperate for often?



1. Roisin - November 3, 2009

I love catnapping. And, like you, it is something that I never did until I went to university, when I mastered the art. I was a film student and became especially good at napping for 10 minutes during the boring bit of a screening, or in the library! (I woke up more than once with my face stuck to a newspaper. Classy)

I think it is a really important skill, and in the years that I have mastered napping during the day I have become a much better night-time sleeper. I think it might be because my body is better at winding down, it’s very rare now that I lie awake for a long time trying to fall asleep.

I think we would all be able to function much better if there was somewhere at work where we could get 10-15 minutes snooze at some point in the day. We live in a world now where we are bombarded with information all the time, and it is very important for health and sanity to be able to step away from that from time to time, I think.

Oh and a big old thumbs up to sleeping on the train. I work part of the time in London and I like nothing better than dozing off at Banbury and waking up at Wembley, feeling refreshed for the day ahead!

2. Lauren Cooke - November 3, 2009

Hi Roisin

That bit of the train is always the best, a long journey down to london with relatively few stops!

In japan some work places have places for catnaps, as long as people don’t take advantage I think it is a great idea!

We should start a campaign!! x

3. Top Bird @ Wee Birdy - November 3, 2009

Ah, I would like to see catnapping as a viable activity at work/play! Nothing like it, really. xx

4. ElementalGrace - November 4, 2009

I love nothing better than a good snooze on planes, trains and automobiles! Although there seems to be some kind of unwritten law of the universe that when you wake up with a crick in your neck and have in all likelihood been slobbering on the window while you were asleep you are always sitting near a ridiculously attractive man. Ah well.

Long live siestas / catnaps.

5. Caroline - November 5, 2009

Yup, this week my daily bus rides to and from Stratford are an hour each way. I have already developed pattern, dozing off just before the Warwick hospital stop and waking at Tiddington on my way to work, and dozing off just outside Wellesbourne and waking on the Myton Road (usually by Lidl) on the way home. I can’t BE in a moving vehicle WITHOUT dozing off, be it plane, train or automobile.

As for that afternoon slump in the office environment, I have become expert at furtive napping. I KNOW I get nothing done trying to stay awake for 30 mins, but will be bright and alert after just 10 mins downtime. Technically I’m doing the company a favour!

6. Diana - November 6, 2009

I long to have the free time for cat-napping again. Especially when accompanied by a cat 🙂

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