Sunday, May 06, 2007

Nap

I used to be a super active baby. Apparently, during babyhood, I used to be up at 5.30am sharp every day and effectively ruin my mom's morning sleep too. In kindergarden, we kiddies used to have a noon nap-time forced upon us. While most of the kids went off into slumberland without protest, yours truly used to poke her head up every so frequently to check if the sign to get up had been give yet. Since the time I stopped being a baby and hence lost the privilege of napping at any time, there have been quite a few days I have rued wasting my free childhood sleep-time.

Anyways, all through childhood, I preferred being up and about to sleeping. Noon-time siestas are extremely common in both my immediate and extended family. All noon-time meals used to conclude with the adults settling down for a short nap. I remained umoved as to its charms though.

The first time I found the joys of napping at noon was when I joined a school which got over at 1.30p sharp instead of the usual 4.30p schedule. By that time, I was way past junior school and no longer very keen on running out to play in the hot afternoon sun. And 1.30p seemed to early to even contemplate doing anything worthwhile. Without any other choice, I took to noon-time naps. And boy, did I like them!

So much so that, other than the brief period when I was in another school which went on till 4.30p everyday, naps became a much-loved part of my life. Once I got to undergrad college, I still tried to sneak in a nap with varying levels of success. Then it was on to grad school. Here, apart from deadline times, the schedule was much more flexible and accomodating to noon-time naps. But this was the first time people looked askance at this (what seemed to me a very natural) habit of mine. "You sleep in the afternoons", they went. "But why?"

Oh hmm. Then, I read an article about how sleeping after lunch greatly increases your chances of developing a nice pot belly. As if my belly needed any kind of extra attention to develop pot like features :-(. So I decided to wean myself away from the habit. It was difficult at first. But a judicious mix of piling onto friends' places, going shopping, going to the library and other such activities soon cured me.

And that was that. From that time onwards, I hardly ever sleep in the afternoons even if I am at home. If the sleep Gods start tempting me, I get myself out of the house pronto. It usually works well. Other than days like today. The past week had been hectic at work. Combined with other stuff, I was not quite getting my eight hours of beauty sleep every night. With the result of an exhausted me. So I decided to force myself to sleep in the afternoon to make up for the deficit.

Which was all a hunky-dory plan. But then, so many years of no-sleep training is hard to get over. But at some point, I did fall asleep. Then I woke up and was very surprised to see my aunt. What's more, she was accompanied by an undergrad friend of mine. My aunt pulled out a big picture of me with my 10th grade classmates. I proceeded to point out a girl in the picture (who, I later realized, never studied with me in 10th grade) to my undergrad friend as the girl studied in the same grad school as the undergrad friend.

At this point, my cell phone started to ring loudly and I gave a huge jump. Okay, where did I put that darned thing? I did not even remember having my cell phone when my aunt woke me up. Then I realized that the phone was ringing somewhere close to my ear. Hmm, I was sitting on a chair - did the cell phone somehow get suspended in mid-air to be ringing so close to my ear?

Which was when I realized, I was still lying flat on my bed. Uh? Did my aunt not just wake me up? As my mind whirled, it came back to me. I had "woken up" from my sleep in my dream only and was actually still sleeping when the cell phone rang in reality. Aunt and friend, who both currently live in India, had come in my dream. By this time, my heart rate had increased to some wondrous level and as I took deep breaths to calm myself down, the phone went off to voice mail. I groggily looked at the clock - it was about an hour and a half since i had started trying to fall asleep. Phew! What an *exciting* way to wake up!

I *knew* there were reasons besides not getting a pot belly to avoid noon-time naps!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to have afternoon naps in my uni days, so that I could stay up all night for assignments. Now days I avoid it because I get really groggy and can't get to sleep at night. But I think research has shown that naps of short periods (~15 mins) are more useful than longer ones.

Robbie said...

Hey,
I was trying to leave you a comment yesterday and I tried several times and later realized that blogger had changed the method of logging on. Weird!!! how are you doing? been a long time since I wrote something. Will do so sometime soon now that its summer.

rads said...

You should move to Japan. I believe they have "nap" time allotted within their working schedule!

My kids are hyper that way. :(

vishesh said...

lol...i was a active baby too..more than any one else...i still here my parents tell how after having a medicine which should make me sleep i sat up and played all afternoon...i can never sleep properly...until i am tired to the bone.....so i ccome with super ways to sleep at night........and it is tough when th3 bed is just about taler than you...and that too it belongs to your great grand father...some tradition....should write about my houses antiques...

Archana said...

Anon - That's the problem with me - I take about half an hour just to get to sleep :-(!

Robbie - ah, you have been away from the blog world too long! How have you been :-)? I am doing good. Amaam, I have heard of waiting till summer to do activities like swimming - did not know blogging had a season too :-P!

Rads - or better still to Greece - I heard their day ends around 2.00p or sth (at least it used to be like that some 15-20 years ago it seems) - hehehe!

Vishesh - LOL :-D! Can imagine! Oh do write about the antiques - they sound interesting :-))!

UFO Rider said...

Just learned that what you experienced is called "Waking Dream". Apparently there is something called "Recursive Dream". If at all one goes thru this experience, I wonder how that person can make sure that dream recursion has indeed terminated.

The Kid said...

I see that you like to write like this. oh... when I was a kid... I used to do that... then I grew up... then blah blah happened.. then yesterday ble bleh happened... how I wish I was like xyv when I was kid....

What is this?

Writing should be crisp. Vocab should be large and usage should be apt. like my stories :)

Ginkgo said...

kashtakaalam

Archana said...

UFO rider - that's an interesting question!

Pratap - Yeah, I will be sure to use your latest story as template when I start writing fiction.

Ginkgo - huh?