I can't nap. I used to be able to. But ever since I had a child, the ability went away. It's not entirely his fault. My brain has evolved over the years and it just has a really difficult time quieting down in the daytime/anytime. If I have a rough night of sleep, that's it for me. I can't plan on a nap later. It puts a lot of pressure on nighttime sleep. And nighttime sleep really feels it and gets stressed out. It's a bit of a problem/terrible cycle. But sometimes, on the rarest of occasions, if I have all of the ingredients juuust right, a nap might happen. For a few minutes.
Ingredients include but are not limited to:
- getting next to no sleep the night before.
- blocking out all light. Closing drapes. Using an eye mask.
- using ear plugs to block out all sound. I have been using earplugs to sleep for the last ten years, at least.
And I can't really go in with the intention to nap. My brain will sense it and revolt. No, I try to fake it out by being like, what? No, I'm not trying to nap. That's stupid. I would never. I'm just going to read this book on my bed. I may make it extremely dark in here as well but that's just how I like to read. Very low light. And then, as I nod off, I toss the book aside, blanket at the ready (my feet get cold--also a deterrent), and insert the earplugs all before my head hits the carefully, preemptively-placed pillow. Everything has to be just so. If I can calmly switch to sleep mode before the "trying to sleep" thoughts move in, then maybe, juuust maybe, I can successfully trick my brain and actually drift into something like sleep. But I cannot remember the last time I napped. It must have happened because I documented something on a post-it that I recently found in the junk drawer.
This is a really big setup for an at best mildly funny exchange between me and Sean some time ago. But you know, not only was it funny, but quite meaningful to me to have this happen. And worth documenting. Just like any miracle:
JEN: I took a nap today--
SEAN: --What? Are you ok?? What happened??
JEN: Ha ha ha. I mean, I woke up on the floor and my head really hurts...
And there you go.