A Champion Napper Meets Her Match

Thousands of Naps Per Day!

A champion napper

I’m not much of an animal lover. I’m scared of dogs. Allergic to cats and during my parenting years, I witnessed the demise of too many goldfish, gerbils, and hermit crabs to count. So, it is with the greatest irony I find myself identifying with — no, make that, jealous of — one creature in the vast animal kingdom.

The animal? The penguin.

The reason? The little black and white flapper is a champion napper!

Yes, penguins are superstar sleepers! They take thousands — yes, thousands — of power naps each day.

This is according to a study just published in Science.

A Champion Napper

According to the journal’s sleep savants, most penguin naps last only a few seconds, but still, what a power (I’d say a superpower) to be able to nod off instantly!

Well, wait …

Now, that I’m older, I “occasionally” nod off at odd intervals, but mostly when I find the conversation boring. Of course, when I do, my family unjustly accuses me of having a “senior” moment. Now, thanks to science, I’m going to insist they call it a “penguin” moment.

As for the reason penguins seize the sonorous moment? Their environment is perilous, and the phrase “catch as catch can” applies to both their sleep pattern and life as potential prey.

Hooray for Naps!

As for me, I’ve always been a nap devotee. The practice was deliberately — cunningly — nurtured by my parents. When I was little, my parents were in their most social, gadding-about-town phase. They directed babysitters to “Keep me up,” so I’d sleep late in the morning AND need a nap.

All my adult life, I’ve seized the opportunity to sneak a snooze whenever possible. Now, that I’m an almost-oldster, however, my mid-day siesta has morphed into more a necessity than a sweet indulgence.

In fact, a desire to combat my growing nap needs and get more energy drove last year’s manic push to lose weight and exercise more. Well, I lost weight and am continuing to exercise BUT I still need naps! Waah! Oh, well. I guess I’m just a penguin at heart!

The Downside

There is, of course, a downside to identifying with a penguin. (Well, two if you count the constant peril problem!) The other downside is the freezing climate they inhabit. I am a warm-weather woman. Give me a beach or a pool or better still, a pool by a beach! Throw in some sunscreen and a chic raft, preferably with a drink holder for my Diet Coke or iced latte. That’s my idea of napper’s Paradise.

Naps Gone Batty!

Interestingly, there is another champion sleeper in the animal kingdom — one that zones out for 20 hours a day! Impressive even by my insatiable sleep standards!

Alas, that super sleeper is a brown bat. It dines on flying insects such as mosquitoes and moths. Yuck and no thanks. Obviously, I’m sticking with the penguin as my snooze role model!

Now, it is time to close. It is, you guessed it, nap time.

😴  🛌  💤 😴

If you’re still awake (!) and enjoyed what you’ve just read, please consider recommending Muddling through Middle Age to your friends. They can subscribe here.


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