the afternoon nap

who invented the afternoon nap?  how did it get started? how many people actually take an afternoon nap? 
these are the questions that are rolling around in my head right now.
why?  because on this trip i have discovered the value of an afternoon nap.   and, it is just not me either.  PJ and Tom have too.
I love my afternoon nap(s).  yes, there are some days when i have had more than one afternoon nap. 
for those of you who have never taken an afternoon nap, let me explain the concept.  the idea is that at some time after lunch and  before dinner you lie down on your bed or a couch nearby.  once that is accomplished, the next action is to relax, maybe even read a little.  usually a short time after that the eyes will begin to close.  the breathing will become deeper.  the tension in the body will release.  sleep begins.
the key issue with an afternoon nap is how long it lasts.  this is the subject of much debate.  some, feel strongly that a power nap is what is best — a nap lasting no longer than 5 or 10 minutes.  others feel that the longer the nap the better. 
prior to this trip I was in the power nap camp.  I have always been fortunate enough to be able to stop at almost any time and take a very short 5 or 10 minute nap.   I have found that this short amount of time does wonders.  I am reenergized and ready to go another 8 hours.
however, so far this trip I have discovered the longer nap.  and, I must say, I am becoming a huge fan of the longer afternoon nap. 
but, I have found that there are some negatives associated with long naps.  for one, one’s circadian rhythms get thrown off.  over the last several nights, instead of going to sleep at a reasonable hour, i am wide awake until the early morning hours.  and, then when I do fall asleep it is not for a very long time.  which in turn makes the need for a long afternoon nap that much more compelling.  it is circular.
I am not sure how or why the longer nap got started on this trip to Italy.  it could be that because of the exercise and the walking each day, that I am just tired and need to get off my feet.  then what is possible is that once I lay down in a prone position to get off my feet, that leads to relaxation, slowing down, closing the eyes and eventual sleep.
the second possibility is that the brain is fully saturated and needs a break.   
the third possibility is total exhaustion.
and the fourth possibility is that I did not want PJ and Tom to be alone, being the team player that I am.
for reasons of protecting myself from legal action by PJ or Tom, I am not showing any pictures to accompany this blog.
PJ’s dictum on long naps is that if you are of clear mind and have a heart that is pure, then there is nothing to be ashamed of. 
that sounds good to me.  let’s hear it for long afternoon naps!

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