Every child sooner or later will try to avoid one. They interrupt the best television shows, they normally follow lunch, and they are hard to avoid. Children learn to beg, plead, and bargain with their Mother over them. Every so often you might cross paths with a child who enjoys them, but that same child will like liver and onions also. You know there will not be many of those around. Children become experts in faking naps. They can hear the boards in the hallway floor creaking, and know exactly when to close those little eyes and act like they are in never never land. When that door shuts, the world comes alive again, the hot wheels reappear, the dolls start talking, bears start dancing, yes, they have become experts.
Picture yourself, your standing in the hallway, trying your best to sneak up, sneak a peak, catch that little criminal you call your child, faking a nap. Yes, and for once, you mutter out loud, “I wish he/she would just lay down for a little while.” The next thing you know, you have turned into your mother, hands on hips, threatening, using Dad coming home as a tool to get 15 minutes of peace and quiet. Yes, you are willing to settle for 15 minutes. Things change in a blurry hurry, don’t they?
Fast forward ten years, and you will see a totally different world. Most mornings start with doors opening, parents standing with hands on hips, raising of voices, and becoming frustrated. Teenagers love to sleep, they sleep in, causing them to be late for school. Once they get to class, some of them go back to sleep, and sleep till the next class. Things change in ten short years. They still fake naps on occasion, but now it is to get out of yard work or some other chore.
Fast forward another ten years, and again the world changes. The morning starts with the annoyance of an alarm clock, a wake up call, or someone waking you up to be somewhere at a certain time. Most mornings are started by coffee, or soft drinks intended to chase the cob webs of sleep away. Mid Morning brings another cup of coffee, followed by another after lunch. Coffee,the anti sleep liquid, costing $5 dollars or more a cup. Hey, it comes with a fancy name, and whipped cream on top, and you look cool drinking it.
Fast forward ten more years, your sitting in the hospital waiting for the news. You can barely keep your eyes open, but your afraid to fall asleep. Your baby is having a baby, and you have been in this little waiting room with those people(in laws) for 12 hours. The occasion nod off is interrupted by a new arrival to the room, and another full length explanation of why it is taking so long, by your daughters friend who has that voice, you know the one. Finally after 14 hours the baby comes, everybody and everything are okay, and everyone goes their separate ways for some sleep, a nap, a snooze. Yes we all have our own names for it, for them.
Fast forward another ten years. Comments like, “Shhhh, Grandpa is napping, you have to use your inside voice.” The daily nap has become a ritual again. Without it, you have become the grumpy old guy down the street when you were a kid. You don’t fight, you look forward to it, it is a prize for getting old.
I was giving the whole sleep thing some thought, and I realized I had questions about it. What classifies as a nod off, a nap, a power nap, a snooze, and when do these things turn into sleep. So I asked around, everyone had a different answer, different opinion, but one thing in common. They all like sleeping.
A nod off, an unintentional, momentary fall into a light sleep. Lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes, can be interrupted by a cough, a sneeze, a book dropping or in some cases a car wreck. A nod off is not a good sleep, but hard to avoid all together. Limited in time to one minute or less.
A doze off, an unintentional 3 to 5 minutes of light sleep, usually do to boredom, normally with no good results.
A power nap, a short, quick, few minutes of sleep, often energizing the recipient for the rest of the day.
Limited to less the 30 minutes, more commonly 15 minutes.
A nap, a longer, deeper, more complete sleep, the cause of many parents stress, and used as an excuse to avoid yard work or chores by those older and more experienced. Limited to 2 hours or less.
Sleep, 3 or more hours of uninterrupted deep sleep, some will argue the lower end is just a nap, but in reality it is sleep. You awaken energized and ready to go.
Passing out, normally 6 hours or more, induced by over celebrating, and ending with a headache.
These are the things I discovered when asking about sleep and naps, virtually everyone has a different opinion of how long, how much, and how often, but most agree, they wish they had those childhood naps back. They would all take them now as adults.

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