Time Magazine recently ran a story entitled “How to Take the Perfect Nap”. I am assuming that this story was meant for humans because Jean Luc and his feline friends have been doing this for correctly, without instructions from a magazine, for years. The story lists 4 actual steps to obtaining the “Perfect Nap”
Step 1 – Pick a Regular Time
According to the article, (which you can read in its entirety here) a daily schedule helps train your body to know when it’s time for a nap and suggests late morning or early afternoon to avoid interfering with your nightly sleep.
In my experience, beginning as a kitten, I have set the following schedule for myself, which I find does not interfere with my nightly sleep. Early morning nap, followed by middle morning nap, followed by late morning nap. After a short break, for food and possibly litter boxing, I repeat the process again in the afternoon — early afternoon nap, middle afternoon nap, and then late afternoon nap. Evening time finds me snacking, litterboxing again, especially if I was dreaming about food, and then gearing up for my early evening nap and middle evening nap. I rarely take a evening nap, for fear that that would interfere with my nighttime sleep.
Step 2 – Set Your Alarm for 20-25 Minutes
Apparently this is supposed to work for humans. 25 minutes is supposed to be enough time to help you wake up refreshed without falling into deeper states of sleep. I can tell you from experience that this does NOT work for cats. I like to sleep anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour, even up to 1 1/2 hours. I really don’t feel refreshed until my whiskers have twitched and my mouth has moved as if I am chewing gum and my paws are jerking around like I am running a marathon. For this I need a minimum of 45 minutes.
Step 3 – Avoid Stimuli
The article suggests humans turn off their phone and find the darkest, quietest place they can since a bright and boisterous environment can keep them from falling asleep or waking up midnap. This is actually excellent advice for both humans and felines. It is difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep when those crazy phones play the theme song from Jaws everytime a text comes in. I think a box makes a place for a nap. If that box is in a closet, that makes it better! Humans make surprisingly good pillows as well.
Step 4 – Sniff Lavender
I don’t know anything about lavender, but I can tell you that you should NOT sniff catnip prior to napping! That stuff is crazy! Makes me want to jump around the house, box imaginary prey, hunt dust bunnies – really anything but sleep! Friends don’t let friends sniff catnip.
This post has, surprisingly, made me kinda sleepy…..
I’ll see you soon at the Orlando Cat Café, where the cool cats hang out (opening soon!)