If there’s one thing we love nearly as much as our summer clothes, it’s a summer nap. Unplanned and entirely indulgent, it’s sort of the ultimate luxury. But before you go getting all “who has the time?” or “why waste it napping?” let us explain and share a few facts about napping. You’re getting verrrrry sleepy…
You know the setup: You’ve been reading on the porch or lying in the park—or maybe you’ve just come home from the market and plopped the bags on the counter and yourself on the couch. You let yourself slip into a light sleep because, well, it’s summer and you can.
There’s no need to change clothes (your jeans are pajama-level comfortable), and there are no alarms—well, maybe there’s an alarm. But for a few blissful moments, you’re in another world, your own silent escape. Maybe you’re supposed to meet your friends and maybe you really need to put that ice cream away and maybe you planned to wash your other favorite jeans so you can wear them later, but that’s just the thing about napping. It has this funny little way of making your to-do list feel like a list of to-don’ts, and as for anything that needs to be done? Well, it can wait.
When you actually do wake up (naturally, we hope), here are a few things to get you thinking about your next one.
Famous historical figures napped too.
Winston Churchill, Lyndon B. Johnson, Salvador Dalí, Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Margaret Thatcher, to name a few.
Artists love to depict a good nap.
Our favorite works celebrating the subject at hand include:
Noon: Rest from Work (after Millet) by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
Still Life with Sleeping Woman by Henri Matisse, 1940
Tilda Swinton sleeping in a box at New York’s MoMA, 2013
The Hammock by Gustave Courbet, 1844
The most relaxing music to nap to (actually) exists.
Science suggests this melody will get you to sleep quicker and more deeply.
Napping is a universal thing.
In Japan, inemuri—or sleeping on the clock—is proof of hard work. Some people even fake sleep.
In Spain, nap lovers compete in the Annual Siesta Championship.
In space, NASA astronauts found that they were 54% more alert after a quick nap.
Photography by Angi Welsch.