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For those of you who are kind enough to read my column you already know I am not the biggest animal lover in the world. However, there is one thing that I am extremely jealous of when it comes to our household's cat, Jewel. Jewel can nap anywhere, at any time with no notice whatsoever. I am enormously envious of this ability.

I would love to be able to take naps like Jewel. The very idea of being able to hop up on the couch, after a good, quick bath, and drop off to sleep within 30 seconds, is very appealing. The added luxury of not having my nap disturbed by the other occupants of the house seems like a far off dream. When Jewel is napping nothing -- and I mean nothing -- is going to disturb her. Not the dog, not the kid and certainly not my wife or me. The only things that will arouse Jewel from her peaceful slumber are the vacuum cleaner or the rattling of her food bag. Other than those two things Jewel's napping skills are impenetrable.

Jewel is also in good company when it comes to napping. Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush were known to have valued an afternoon nap. With a lineup of nappers like that there must be something to it, right?

A study at NASA on military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved their performance by 34 percent and alertness 100 percent.

A recent article in the research journal Sleep examined the benefits of naps of various lengths and no naps. The results showed that a 10-minute nap produced the most benefit in terms of reduced sleepiness and improved cognitive performance. A nap lasting 30 minutes or longer is more likely to be accompanied by sleep inertia, which is the period of grogginess that sometimes follows sleep.

A study by University of Michigan doctoral student Jennifer Goldschmied and colleagues found that after waking from a 60-minute midday nap, people were less impulsive and had greater tolerance for frustration than people who watched an hour-long nature documentary instead of sleeping.

So Jewel certainly has the right idea. Although I would say that Jewel, in my estimation, naps somewhere between 14 to 16 hours a day. I would love to see the study on the benefits of that length of dozing.

Of course, it is called catnapping for a reason. I guess cats have perfected it and we mere humans are just trying to immolate it in some form or fashion.

Then again Jewel doesn't have a lot of daily responsibilities. I mean she has to make me feed her first thing in the morning and then she gives herself a bath a few times a day, mostly before her naps, and occasionally punches the dog in the head with her claws when the dog gets a little too rambunctious. Other than that Jewel's to do list is pretty empty.

Maybe we have it backward. Instead of thinking that napping more will make us better at our jobs and more productive, what if it is the other way around? What if by napping more we could actually live a relative life of leisure like Jewel?

Think of it. If we sleep for 14 to 16 hours a day maybe it would trigger something in the universe that would bring us in contact with a rich benefactor who would meet our every need. This benefactor would buy everything we need, meet our every demand and from time to time give us a pat on the head. In return, all we would have to do is completely ignore him and occasionally destroy a piece of furniture.

I think I may be on to something here. I'm going to give it a try.

Oh, wait. Jewel is sleeping on the couch and can't be disturbed. I guess my experiment will have to wait until she is finished napping.

But come to think of it Jewel is never finished napping so I guess I'm stuck being her sleep-deprived benefactor.

Editorial on 05/19/2019

Print Headline: The prosperity of napping

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