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26 Things People Who Nap 'Too Much' Wish Others Understood

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Let’s be real — almost everyone appreciates a good nap. But for many, a nap might seem like a luxury they can’t afford. Sure, they’d love to nap, but they don’t actually need one. And who has the time to nap anyway?

It can be easy to judge people, then, who do “find the time” to nap — not necessarily because they actually have the time, but because circumstance or illness makes it necessary. For some people living with mental illness or chronic conditions, napping isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. When napping is an essential part of your daily or weekly routine, it’s frustrating when people assume you’re “lucky” to have the time to nap, or that you nap simply because you’re lazy.

There should be no shame in resting when your body needs it. That’s why we consulted with nappers in both our mental health and chronic illness community to let us know one thing they would tell someone who doesn’t understand why they nap. 

Of course, it’s important to note that napping too much can sometimes be a method of avoidance. If you feel like this is your situation, don’t be afraid to seek advice from a mental health professional, and join our conversation about napping and avoidance here.

Here’s what the nappers in our community want you to know:

  1. “I wish people understood that I don’t nap because I’m lazy. I nap because it’s an escape. An escape from all the problems around me, an escape from all the bad thoughts in my head. And sometimes it’s the only thing that works… I’m not napping to be lazy or because I have nothing better to do, I’m doing it to help myself.” — Georgia C.
  2. “Being around people is exhausting for me. I am overstimulated very fast. Two hours shopping with a friend and I have to take a two-hour nap. When I am in a crowd and multiple people are talking, I can’t handle it. I can’t understand anything anyone is saying… I always need long naps after social events or I’ll have a breakdown.” — Clarissa V.
  3. I’m not lazy. I have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety and depression. My body is fighting me every second of every day. Half the time I can barely keep my eyes open or focus, so I’m pretty useless to the world. A small — even 15 to 20 minute — power nap refreshes and recharges my batteries so I can actually function like myself again.” — Allison M.
  4. “The naps I take help me function the rest of the day. My job is physically and emotionally demanding. I adore my work, but when the day is done I need that 45 minutes in order to be able to make dinner.” — Ambyr M.
  5. “I don’t sleep very well at night a lot of the time because of my anxiety and OCD, so I get tired during the day a lot. I also have depression and that makes me feel extra tired. Sometimes people will say, ‘I’m tired too, we are all tired, but we all have things we need to do,’ not understanding this is a completely different kind of tired altogether. I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted on top of being physically exhausted.” — Rachel B.
  6. “When I nap during the day, it is not because I want to most of the time. There are many times when my eyes won’t stay open, and my body feels really low on energy. It feels like every action I have to do requires so much more energy.” — Danielle K.
  7. “I would much rather be doing something else, something a bit more productive. Such as cleaning or spending time with my kids. But depression can drain you quick, mentally and physically. Even if you had eight or nine hours of sleep last night.” — Kirsten S.
  8. “When I nap, it’s because I absolutely have to! I fight it for as long as I can. But I can only be so strong for so long and then I have to sleep. It’s definitely not because I want to, it’s because I have to. I have to listen to what my body needs.” — Jessica S.
  9. “I wish people would understand that I’m power napping. Without a nap sometimes, I just don’t have the power to continue living without a little sleep, an escape, a few long moments of life in another world.” — Sarah H.
  10. “Having to work with people all day, make conversation with clients, keep a smiling positive attitude, is absolutely emotionally and mentally exhausting when you have mental health issues. When your brain is at war with itself just trying to make simple decisions, it drains you.” — Michele M.
  11. “I nap or lay in bed and watch TV because of my anxiety and PTSD that torment me. If I’m napping or watching TV, I’m focusing on something else. Also because of my chronic pain. Sometimes my neck hurts way too much and it becomes hard to stand, so I have to lie down.” — Liz T.
  12.  “I wish people understood just how tiring it is having this inner monologue that talks constantly at 100 miles an hour all day every day, judging and replaying every little thing I think, say or do. It’s a real struggle most of the time trying to tune it out and and ‘try to focus on the good.’ Aside from napping being a peaceful escape, it also provides an opportunity to recoup energies lost to this ongoing and incredibly draining process.” — Stef C.
  13. “I don’t choose to sleep my life away. I’m not being lazy. The things I have to do take all the energy from the things I should do making things I wanna do non-existent. And just cause I’m lying in bed awake doesn’t mean I’m not tired. My body is on empty but my brain won’t shut off.” — Leha H.
  14. “I see naps as a way of resetting my brain. When I become overwhelmed with too many thoughts, my (temporary) emotions start getting the best of me. Meaning, I start lashing out… especially at those I love for no valid reason. Naps allow my brain to reboot properly and give me a chance to recharge, think clearly and, most importantly, not let my mouth win.” — Katelyn E,.
  15. “Sometimes I get so tired it’s almost safer for me to just sleep than stay awake. The brain fog gets really thick and functioning becomes overwhelming.” — Kim M.
  16. “I’m a long sleeper, meaning I need at least 10 to12 hours of sleep a night to feel rested (it’s a real thing). Add on top of that that I rarely get that sleep due to insomnia, mania symptoms, stress, depression and work and you’ll understand why I need a two to three hour booster nap during the day if possible.” — Sayer H.
  17. “It’s not ‘lazy.’ Having a mental illness comes with fatigue, sometimes to the point it’s debilitating. I have no choice but to nap when I’m depressed, trying to keep my eyes open with match sticks doesn’t work. It’s part of the illness, just like it is with many physical illnesses.” — Amy W.
  18. “Fatigue is more than just being tired. Every part of my body feels weighed down, heavy. It’s the type of exhaustion one might feel after completing a marathon. Every ounce of energy has been drained from my body. There are no reserves, there is no pushing through. At some point there is no option but rest.” — Jewell C.
  19. “I wish people understood I nap because I am mentally exhausted. The constant running my mind does throughout the day. And I have to force myself to focus on school, work, internships and volunteering. All while my anxiety increases causing me to overthink, my depression causing suicidal thoughts. That is why I nap. My mind can’t focus on one thing and I am mentally tired.” — Meagan R.
  20. “I named them N.O.N.s. Non-optional Naps. I lessened my guilt of sometimes having to nap when I read science studies that determined midday naps are natural.” — Karla E.
  21. “Sometimes napping just isn’t a choice. I will get so tired I just end up sleeping because my body can’t stay awake and fight for awhile. Sometimes I nap because it takes away the pain even just for a bit. And sometimes napping is the better option. Honestly I never really like napping it makes me feel like crap. But it’s better then the constant struggle.” — Samantha V.
  22. “Autoimmune disease causes severe fatigue, including fatigue from the pain. Even though naps don’t truly help disease/pain fatigue, it’s still a time for our bodies to be in a state of rest as much as we can. It’s not the same as someone being tired from work, running a marathon, any activity.” — Jenny S.
  23. “I’m tired 24/7. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I always feel exhausted! I take naps to take a break from my thoughts and feelings and to avoid life’s problems at times. I wish people understood that napping is a healthier coping mechanism than a lot of other things I have the desire to do.” — Josie S.
  24. “My BPD often causes me to emotionally exert myself which drains me completely. Couple that with general insomnia, anxiety, depression, PTSD and health issues, I end up physically exhausted as well. I have a hard time with jobs because I often need a couple naps through the day.” — Samantha S,
  25. “My body demands it. My body will literally use up all of its energy just taking a simple shower and it shuts down to rejuvenate. Not only is it annoying it is also embarrassing. I live with a few autoimmune diseases, so my body is at war every second. I live with a few forms of dysautonomia as well. The list goes on. No cure for any of them. I don’t get the option to decide my days. I have accepted that now.” — KellyAnn P.
  26. “I wish people understood that I nap because my mind is constantly running a never ending marathon. A marathon where you need to say the right things to people without drawing attention to yourself (whether that’s eating ‘weird’ or having ‘weird’ toppings on food), coming off as rude (in your mind you may, but in reality you’re fine) or to seem happy and try you damnedest to have a good time. If you ran a marathon like this, you’d need a nap, too.” — Jessica B. 

What would you add?

Getty image via golubovy

Originally published: September 5, 2018
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