Sunday, 17 March 2013

Turning myself off and on again

I love naps.  

Naps became an especially big part of my life around - I think it was - 2005.  At that time my wife gave me an iRiver H120 mp3 player.  Because it recorded direct to mp3 as well as playing 20GB worth of music, it meant that I could archive my favourite audio books that we had on tape.   For years I had been listening to books on tape to help go to sleep, but there was always the problem that at the end of the side of a tape there would be a big THUNK noise, which might wake you up.  Plus the fiddliness of changing tapes to continue the story.   When I had got some recorded, and bought some CD audiobooks which were even easier to get onto it, I could get about 40 complete audiobooks by my bed, in about the same volume as a single audio cassette in its case.   Plus many podcasts such as In Our Time.

I know the above does not sound extraordinary nowadays but once in a while it is good to remember how extraordinary it is.

Anyway, with convenient access to a huge audio library that helped me sleep, I became good at having naps at pretty much any time of day, if circumstances permitted.  I can remember the tipping point too.  It was when I realised that if I just lay in bed and listened to a "tape" (actually mp3 of course), I didn't have to worry about having a nap.   Worrying about going to sleep pretty much makes it impossible to sleep.  Once I knew that when I felt myself slowly drifting down, I didn't have to worry, I got good at having naps.

I love naps for their own sake, but quite often they have a huge benefit for me.  They let me turn myself off and on again.  If I am feeling particularly miserable and I know it's not rational, a nap will very often reboot my brain into a more acceptable state.  Perhaps I won't be happy but that clawing pointless misery might be gone.   More often than not it is gone.  

1 comment:

  1. A supremely CS-appropriate solution:
    “Your brain seems buggy; have you tried turning it off and on again?”


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