On afternoon naps

When did it happen? This need to plan my days so I can factor in some time to lie down for a little while and have a sleep? I’ve always liked a sleep in the afternoon. It started with working split shifts at Barnardo’s. The 2-5 break was just right for a little nap. It was something I liked, but not something I actually needed, if you know what I mean. I could work all day, go out in the evening, do a bit of studying, and get up the next day and start all over again. If I ever missed my nap it didn’t matter, I don’t remember feeling tired, ever, even though on most of my days off I chose to take one of the children into Brighton with me, so I didn’t even rest then.

Now the nap is not a choice, it’s a necessity. I will lie on the settee, and say to Mike “I’m going to sleep now”, close my eyes, and go to sleep. Immediately. In seconds. Worse is the need to plan my day around it. It’s odd, because if I go shopping, for instance, I’m fine, not tired, don’t need to find a park bench to lie down on. But if I need to work, or do something for somebody, I find myself planning my day in detail, trying to factor in time for that nap.

Tomorrow is a good example. I have three things I have to do. Two jobs for a total of three hours, and I have to take someone for their hospital appointment. Not arduous, really, but already I am worrying about when I will have my little sleep, and even whether I will be up to doing the second job in the evening. The rational side of me tells me not to be so silly. And actually I know that people with full time jobs will wonder what on earth I’m going on about.

Tomorrow will come, I’ll just get on with it, I’ll be fine. If I don’t get a sleep it won’t matter.

I think it may be part of a general anxiety about things, that happens when you get older. When the children were young, we were planning one of our pre Christmas special weekends, at my Mum and Dad’s house, and my Mum said “But where will everyone sleep?”. I didn’t understand what she was worried about…we’d find a bit of floor somewhere. Now I know how she felt!


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