We may be made to feel guilty if we take naps or if we sleep ‘too much’, but the thing with taking care of yourself properly is that it often means doing things that other people don’t quite understand. If you find you’re tired all the time, you sleep a lot, or you desire nothing more than to nap when other people are awake and energetic, this does not mean you’re weak or flawed in any way. It’s never lazy to invest in your recovery, and if we re-phrase the question, it becomes obvious that being sleepy, or needing to sleep, is not a character flaw.
You may have completely different energetic rhythms to your friends, you may be involved in different activities, and even if you can’t identify any obvious differences, you should not assume that your requirements for rest and recovery are just the same as everyone else’s.
If you’re tired all the time, or you need more sleep than you feel you should, there’s going to be a reason for it and like all other fitness-related things – if you need more sleep, just trying harder at not being sleepy is unlikely to get you anywhere.
So strip away the judgement. If you’re tired all the time, there’s a reason for it – you may or may not be able to do anything actively about it, but if you need more sleep, don’t think that makes you a failure. You’re not lazy because you’re tired. Tiredness is tiredness. Laziness is a blame statement, nothing more – but to indulge in the fantasy – if you are tired and so you refuse to do a thing, and another person also refuses to do said thing but they are not tired – who then is lazy? Or is the other person maybe rebellious, disobedient, or do they value different things? Refusing to participate because you’re tired is different from refusing to participate because you don’t want to. Different things are not the same.
Anyway, I love naps. The guilt free nap, if you can fit one or two into your week somewhere, it’s a glorious thing. Especially if you can’t quite get all the sleep you need at night. I suppose there’s an argument against napping, if you’re trying to improve your night-time sleeping patterns, but if I’m to be honest – the inspiration for this post was a leopard sleeping in a tree. I don’t know much about correcting sleeping patterns. One of the best pieces of advice I remember is this – go to bed only when you’re tired, and get up at the same time every morning. It’s less regimented than going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time every day, but it’s more structured than only going to bed and getting up again whenever you feel like it.
However you get it done, sleep is necessary and important. It is not a sign of laziness or moral laxity. We all must do it, and even if you do believe in productivity above all else, it’s clear you can’t be efficient if you’re not getting enough good sleep.
So make like a leopard in a tree, and nap.