I Hate Napping

Yes, I hate it all: napping myself, trying to get babies to nap, worrying about whether or not they are sleeping enough during the day, not enough, often enough, long enough, short enough.

I will be happy when my youngest takes his last nap. My oldest dropped hers at 2.5 years old and I was glad. She went to bed earlier. No more naps.

I hate naps. If I am tired enough, and of course, having babies will do that to me, I will force myself to try and nap. But I’m terrible at it and most times I just toss and turn, and end up giving up, having lost precious time in a futile attempt.

How embarrasing, this never happens...

If I travel to another time zone and get jet lagged, something weird and disorienting happens to me when I nap. I wake up, and for a few, long agonizing moment I don’t know who I am, or where. At all. I have complete fleeting amnesia. It’s such a horrific sensation. It goes away, and I say, oh this is a hotel, or whatever, and I’m me, but it’s so scary I dread napping on vacation. I wonder if this is some early sign of some eventual demise of my brain. Does this happen to anyone else?

Along with a seeming congenital inability to nap, I also have an inborn need for a lot of sleep. I’ve realized over the years that other lucky souls can sleep 5,6,7 hours and function optimally. I need something like nine hours per night. I also need to sleep until 7 a.m. or I am tired all day, no matter how early I go to bed.

So, this doesn’t always mesh well with the early morning slant of the exercise world. I’ve forced myself to wake many times at 4:30 a.m. to meet friends for a 5 a.m. run, and after a gallon of coffee I can perform to some semblance of my normal self. But if races were held at 5 p.m. instead of 7 or 8 in the morning? I’d probably shatter all my PRs automatically.

This is me at 6 p.m.

My energy peaks at 4,5,6,7 p.m. It’s my favorite time to exercise, work, dance around the house. I’m an evening-exerciser. I will periodically discipline myself into an early morning exerciser, just to join the ranks, and so I can get used to it in case I want to do a race. But I know there must be others of my kind out there…let’s start our own night races!

So when I woke at 4:30 to run, I had to nap. I couldn’t make it through the day after that. Back then (last year) my oldest still napped, so it was possible, and I was tired enough that I actually fell asleep. But I still hated it. I went down kicking and screaming like a big toddler. I despise the post-nap grogginess, the feeling of lost time, the dry eyeballs and lips, the confused fugue state between awake and asleep while the sun is shining.

I could never make it in a siesta country. Well, I guess I could just eat and drink and rest and then go back to work/play with renewed evening energy. Actually, that would be perfect.

He's got a Protestant nation work ethic.

It doesn’t help that my baby hates napping (maybe he gets it from me?) so I am always engaging in nap battle, stroller sleep intrigues, day planning, scheming, organizing of wake/sleep/car trips. BLEGH I HATE IT. I also hate when I read something like, Oh your five month old should be napping three hours per day for optimal brain development, and then I have to worry on top of all my other nap worries that he’s being harmed because the kid won’t sleep more than 15 minutes during the day.

But I cannot for the life of me get him to nap. I’d rather just let it go, and eff naps.

In my recent nap battles, I’ve tried some new weaponry. Laying down with him in the bed, running him in the jogger. I may have won some battles but the war is another story.


I hate naps.


In non-napping news, I have half-blonde hair. It was for a beauty story.

I’ve also been freed from a dairy-free diet and have already celebrated with pizza. Henry can now sit all day (endurance ride) so he’s happy with increased play options. I’ve lost my mind and went shopping for fun. I don’t know who I am anymore.



Filed under Parenting

7 Responses to I Hate Napping

  1. This blows my mind. naps are as vital as water and pizza.
    some days I go without, but usually feel as though it was a mistake.

    • admin

      Viva la difference, right? You say “refreshing daytime sleep,” I say “existentially-terrifying loss of self and identity and frustrating exercise in turning my brain off.” I agree with you on the pizza and water, though :)

  2. I know of lots of night races. In fact I have my eye on one in Dec. It doesn’t even start until midnight! You’ll love it.

    How did you reintroduce dairy? I’m thinking of testing those waters.

    • admin

      Hmmm I’m not sure midnight is my ideal time either.

      I cheated on the dairy free diet when I was away and didn’t notice any major problems so the pediatrician said I should TRY to get him used to dairy now, even give him yogurt. Although he’s gotten fussy again the last few days but who knows if it’s from dairy, reflux meds wean, teething, something totally else. Where did I put my baby manual?

  3. Barb

    i miss napping! i was a super-great napper. 25 minutes from the moment i hit the pillow until the alarm goes off (longer than that and it works in reverse and makes me feel gross). but there are no naps now with Leo. the only napping that happens are Leo-naps. but Leo doesn’t nap like “normal” babies – not in the crib. not in the car. not in the stroller. nope. we have to wear him 2Xs a day to get him to nap. it’s the only way. the other ways result in 45 minutes of screaming for 20 minutes of napping. those ways NO ONE wins. at least if he’s asleep ON me I can get a few minutes of quiet time at the computer (like right now!).
    anyway. i hear you on hating the napping for little ones. it’s an annoying battle…(understatement!!) but i’m sure the little brain is developing just fine. :)

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