Feeling tired, rundown? Try a large dose of dozing
I have never been a big napper ever since I was a little nipper.
I have to take the word of my parents that I did plenty of napping when I was a baby and continued to do so well into my "toddlerhood."
My memories of those early years are a bit sketchy, so it's very possible that my frequent sleeping was responsible for my lack of recall.
The first napping that I can recall was the required sleeping my brothers and I were forced to undergo when we were about preschool or early elementary school age.
On the many Thanksgivings since then, I have seen many relatives and friends peacefully slumber in recliners or on sofas after partaking in the big Turkey Day feast.
Unfortunately, a large, delicious Sunday dinner in the early afternoon did not have the same effect on my brothers and me.
After dessert was scarfed down and the dishes were done, we three were force-marched upstairs to our bedroom. Once there, we were ordered to lie down and take a nap, whether we wanted one or not.
In retrospect, I can see why our mother needed to catch up on her sleep after trying to catch up to three young sons throughout the week.
Dad had to keep up with high school students at the school where he taught, so I can see why he needed to doze and possibly even snooze.
At the time, though, I was not nearly as understanding. All I knew was that I had to lie in on a perfectly fine afternoon and stare at the ceiling for an hour or two.
Since I slept in the top bunk, I could count the little holes in the ceiling blocks. I can tell you from personal experience that counting holes in ceiling blocks is not nearly as effective as counting sheep in lulling someone to sleep.
When our folks finally sounded the end to nap time, my brothers and I raced downstairs and out the door with all the gusto of three long-term prisoners who had just been pardoned by the governor.
We didn't come back in until our mother called us for supper.
(For younger readers: Mom did not text us or give us a ring on a cell phone. She shouted our names out the back door and we had to be back before she resorted to calling us by our first, middle and last names. That might have resulted in a mandatory two-week nap.)
Fortunately, those compulsory Sunday afternoon naps ended, and from then on, our dad was the only one who napped on a regular basis.
In all fairness, Dad did get up early. How early? I really don't know. I was more interested in sleeping than I was in satisfying my curiosity. Let's just say, Dad was up before the sun even on the longest day of the year.
By the time my brothers, sister and I reluctantly made our way to the breakfast table after having been pried out of bed, Dad had already eaten, read a few chapters in a book, corrected a couple dozen physics tests and been to morning Mass.
He walked to school, home for lunch, back to school and finally back to home - a total distance of a few miles. It was no wonder that Dad would lie down on the sofa when he got home and "rest his eyes" for a half-hour or so before our 4 p.m. "evening meal."
As an adult, I have often envied my dad's afternoon siesta habit. It's not that I could not fall asleep after I get from work. It's that I'm afraid that I will fall asleep.
I have to keep moving or I am doomed to wake up two hours later with nothing gained and two hours lost.
That is why I pick the most uncomfortable chair in the house to sit on when I have to change into my after-work work clothes. If I sat on a recliner, I might still be reclining when my wife got home from her job.
Jo Ann is also in need of sleep, so we have discussed the idea of eating our evening meal while standing. The problem is that after we have been sitting at the kitchen table to eat, we don't want to get up and get moving again.
One of these days, I'm going to nod off after dessert and wake up to discover that I have been sleeping with my face in a plate of mashed potatoes and Jo Ann has applesauce in her left ear.
I regret that I didn't save any of those afternoon naps from childhood to have them now when I really could use them. I am not one of those people who cannot take naps.
If you are someone who would like to take a nap but have trouble sleeping during the daytime, this column should help. Read it once or twice and I guarantee you will fall asleep while you're reading it.
How can I be so sure? I fell asleep three times writing it.
(Kozlowski, a freelance writer from Mount Carmel, composes "Walt's Way" for each Sunday edition.)