I may be a grown-up but I am no stranger to taking naps. Some days I’m just tired and need to lay myself down on the couch for a little while. I’ve taken many a nap on the bus ride into NYC both before and after a work day.

A normal nap for me is half an hour to forty five minutes and I usually have the TV on while I nap. Yet I never have the TV on or play music when I go to sleep for the night. Naps and a night’s sleep are just two different things.

I usually wake up refreshed and ready to go when I get up from a nap. But today I had one of those naps that sneaks up on a person. The kind it is tough to get up from. The kind where I didn’t even know I was so tired.

I had finished eating lunch and was getting back to working on a drawing when I felt like lying down for a bit. I channel surfed and found something to sleep to then lay my head down. An hour went by in an instant and I woke in a total fog of barely perceived reality. I crashed on the couch for another hour dozing in and out of consciousness. I just couldn’t get up. I was a lot more tired than I ever thought I was. It was a true power nap though it was the nap that had the power.

Napping on the bus is a totally different story. It is the most unrefreshing nap there is. A lot of times it is a total necessity because I have to get up early to catch the bus and there is never enough time to sleep on those days. Coming home I have boarded the bus at the Port Authority bus station and have been asleep before it even leaves the terminal. The problem with bus naps is that most of the time I will wake up feeling more tired than before. It can be a deep sleep but not a very restful one. Of course not sleeping can be even worse. The morning bus nap is usually better than the evening bus nap but not always. It can be especially weird when waking up briefly in the middle of a bus nap and not knowing if I am coming or going. Scary stuff if you think your day is ending and it is really just beginning but a relief the other way around. Busses can just be evil and that is all there is to it. We need more trains. I find them more comfortable. Well, maybe not the NYC subway.

The most disorienting kind of nap is the winter evening kind. Those are the ones where I go to sleep when is light out and awake in the dark. I wake up and don’t even know if it is 7 PM or 3 AM. It totally messes with my body clock and I won’t be able to fall asleep at any reasonable hour after that. I haven’t experienced one of those naps in a long time because I refuse to take a late evening nap anymore. Even in the summer. If I am so tired that I can’t get anything done I’ll just sit there and wait for bedtime. At least the next day I’ll wake up refreshed. Sometimes you have to sacrifice today for tomorrow’s sake.

When I nap I lie down on the couch and have the TV on. Most often I choose the History Channel or some such station that shows documentaries. Docs have an even tone and no loud music or explosions to wake me up. Preferably it is also a program that I have seen before so I won’t be too interested in it. But sometimes I need something special. A few weeks ago I came home in the afternoon absolutely tired. I needed a nap but I was a little wired and couldn’t settle down. Being tired and wired sucks but that is an observation for a future blog. Anyway, the usual TV shows were no help because I couldn’t concentrate enough to settle down and the commercials were just winding me up. I find commercials annoying and couldn’t focus enough to ignore them. So I had to put a movie on. I don’t usually nap to movies because my brain will try to follow the story instead of sleeping but with certain movies napping is a necessary defense mechanism. I put on Aeon Flux with Charlize Theron. It worked perfectly. Try to stay awake during that one. I dare you. The story isn’t worth following even when alert so I was able to settle down and take a nice nap. So you see, bad movies are good for something.