If you have read this column for any length of time, you know that I have some issues with sleep. Specifically, I don’t really know how to do it. I don’t sleep with any sort of regularity or consistency, and I never have. As a child, I had horrible nightmares, I spent most nights on my parents floor in a sleeping bag, wide awake, listening for intruders in our house or monsters outside. Oh, hello, debilitating childhood anxiety, nice to see you again!
As an adult, I spend 90% of my nights laying awake planning grocery lists, completing homework, and trying to remember that one thing I wanted to tell that one person one time, because 3 a.m. is the perfect time to relive past conversations.
I was briefly a good sleeper. I can almost recall a single night in my 20s when I figured out how to relax my brain enough to drift off to the land of nod. It lasted for a few brief and glorious months until I relapsed into my typical insomnia.
I have accepted the fact that I will just always be tired; I will never be rested.
But Liz, you (and everyone I’ve ever met) might be saying to yourself, there is a solution: It’s called a nap! Don’t start with me on that nap bullshit. I reject your napping ways. The only thing that confounds me more than the idea of a restful night’s sleep is the idea that a nap is even a legitimate activity.
I do not understand people who have the ability to sleep outside of normal sleeping hours, sometimes in the middle of the afternoon, no less! These people, these nappers, they can find sleep in the most awake of afternoons, and it makes no physiological sense. I don’t understand how they can sleep in their clothes, on a couch, in the daylight. This legitimately confounds me.
Furthermore, in my limited napping experience, naps are trippy AF. I had a bad nap once, and I am genuinely afraid to try it again. All I remember is how disconcerting it was to wake up in the middle of the afternoon, having lost hours of my day, of my life. It was deeply upsetting.
Sometimes I will drift off while I’m on the train home from work. I almost always wake up in a blind panic, forgetting where I am and wondering if I’ve missed my stop. It’s an absolutely horrible way to wake up. This is not a relaxing or happy activity, this napping business.
The other day, my friend awoke from a nap and assumed she had slept through the whole night. She got the coffee going and started to get ready for work before realizing it was just night time. It was the night of the same day in which she went to sleep and she was confused because NAPS DON’T MAKE SENSE!
I am desperate for relief from a lifetime of the sleepies, but naps are not the answer.
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