Jewish World Review Dec. 2, 2004 / 19 Kislev, 5765

Lloyd Garver

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Presidents Do It; Why Not You?


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | My name is Lloyd G. and I'm a napper. Now that I've got it out in the open, I hope millions of others will proudly admit what they do on the privacy of their bed or couch. It's time for an end to the American prejudice against naps and nappers. Those who like to catch a few Z's now and then should be able to do so without shame or fear of ridicule.


Our culture's prejudice against napping also applies to sleep in general. It's as if the fewer hours per day that you claim you sleep, the better person you are. People brag and say, "I only need five hours of sleep." They boast like this because they improperly think of sleep as a weakness or an annoying need. Instead, it's time we viewed it as a pleasurable experience. Then that macho guy won't come into the office bragging about five hours of sleep last night. Instead, maybe he'll brag that he got ten hours of pleasure.


Certain people are so embarrassed about sleep that they rarely admit that they even do it. Some feel the need to begin each conversation with, "I didn't sleep well last night." (Why are they telling us this? They don't report on their other bodily functions.) And let's say you call someone up at four in the morning. After realizing the time, you apologize for waking them, and invariably they'll say, "No. I was up." What are they ashamed of? Why can't they just admit they were sleeping?


And if you happen to call during the day and obviously wake them, and apologize, they'll act as if you've just accused them of some mortal sin. "Me? Napping? Don't be ridiculous. I've got better things to do."

Donate to JWR


In our culture, anything that doesn't appear to be productive — anything that doesn't look like you're in the process of earning a buck — is frowned upon. But of course, napping is very productive. It's rejuvenating. And it feels nice and cozy, especially in the cold weather. Many other cultures recognize the value of a nap, and make room for it in their day. The "siesta" is considered just as important as eating and working. In those cultures, people who choose to work in the late afternoon rather than sleep are the ones who are considered weird.


Throughout our history, even presidents have been criticized for napping or sleeping too much. This makes no sense. First of all, the more hours per day that a president sleeps means he has fewer hours to mess things up. Secondly, if there is some kind of crisis or emergency, I want my president well-rested.


Some people say they can't nap, or they tried it a few times and didn't like it. My advice to them is to not give up. I firmly believe that, if properly motivated, anyone can learn to nap. Besides, if everybody quit trying other bedroom activities just because they didn't work out the first few times, where would we all be today?


Just to be clear, I'm only advocating responsible napping. I'm talking about things like the "I've-got-a-few-minutes-before-dinner nap," the classic late-Sunday-afternoon nap, and the "Boy,-is-this-a-boring-movie" nap. I'm not talking about people who nap to avoid work or to escape responsibilities. Proper napping's all about balance.


It's not going to be easy for everyone to get rid of the guilt they feel about sleeping during the day. It's ingrained in us. So maybe the best thing for those of you who are just starting out is to take a nap right after doing something important. That way, you won't feel like you're being irresponsible or lazy. Take a nap after you've played with your children or after you finish that difficult project or after you've made that uncomfortable phone call. If you really want to take a nap with absolutely no guilt whatsoever, do it after you finish your most important task of the day. In other words, a good time for a nap would be right about ... now.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.




JWR contributor Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover. Comment by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.

Up

11/18/04: And A Digital New Year To All
11/11/04: In praise of solitude
09/15/04: Resting Up For The Next Olympics
09/02/04: Drop the smirk, part the hair
08/26/04: The Indefinitive Election Poll
08/19/04: Postage stamps get personal
08/12/04: The Political Olympics
08/05/04: Candidates are relying too much on research and taking some voters for granted
07/26/04: Color Code Confusion
07/08/04: Two Johns, no waiting
07/01/04: College Kids: They're Ba'aaack
06/11/04: A real sucker
06/03/04: What America really thinks
05/28/04: Fly the nice skies
05/20/04: A margin of error
05/06/04: TIPtoeing Around New York
04/29/04: The trouble with tall people
04/22/04: It's over for the Yankees
04/15/04: Silver bullets, tarnished excuses
04/08/04: A basketball fan's Nirvana
04/01/04: Something you're dying to write
03/25/04: Trumping Trump
03/11/04: Spelling still kounts
02/10/04: Leave the Amish alone
02/05/04: 'The State Of The Column' Column
01/15/04 Being Fat And Fit?
01/12/04 How to win the lottery
01/05/04 Sign Of The Times
12/27/03 Your Checklist Of Football Cliches
12/19/03 Clean getaway for holiday shoppers
12/15/03 The Cadillac Of Columns?
12/08/03 Dearest (Insert Name Here) ...
12/01/03 If they advertise it, we will buy
11/21/03 Feeling young, small and intimidated
11/14/03 The ulterior motive behind changes in those airline passenger meals
10/30/03 Real Money From Virtual Reality
10/23/03 Seeing red on new greenbacks
10/10/03 A sorry state of affairs
10/02/03 Revealed! Celeb-authored kids' books arriving just in time for the holidays
09/25/03 Just say 'yes' to dinner
09/11/03 In search of cool
09/04/03 Taking 'Intelligence' Out Of 'CIA'
08/28/03 Relaxation makes me nervous
07/31/03: What empty nest?
07/17/03: America's Big Hang-Up
06/27/03: Mental gymnastics
06/19/03: Why do we lie to our doctors?
06/02/03: Driving around in circles
05/28/03: These writers don't monkey around
05/19/03: Testing the water
05/13/03: New car hell
05/05/03: Bed and breakfast bewilderment
04/28/03: Sexy? That's a laugh!
04/10/03: When 'all A's' isn't good enough
04/04/03: A kibosh on complaining
03/13/03: Cut those billionaires some slack
03/05/03: Will they ever run out of celebs? The pols hope not!
02/26/03: Unfortunately, we can hear you now
02/19/03: Just say what you mean

© 2004, Lloyd Garver