A day for everything, including a nap | AspenTimes.com

A day for everything, including a nap

There seems to be a daily celebration of obscure habits, and next Tuesday is no different. It’s national Sleep in Public Day.

No one seems quite sure where the holiday originated, but it started appearing on “fun” calendars across the internet in 2011.

Maybe sleep became more celebrated because nearly one-third of Americans are not getting enough. According to the Sleep Foundation, adults between 18 and 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. The Foundation also reported almost half of all Americans say they feel sleepy during the day between three and seven days per week.

Is Tuesday the day, then, to catch up on missed winks in Aspen’s public spaces? If so, keep it legal. Aspen is certainly a city that doesn’t promote sleeping in public, at least unless the sun is up.

Public parks, brrr

The city has 30 parks and playgrounds, 22 miles of pedestrian/bicycle trails and over 90 kilometers of Nordic ski trails. There are lots of options, discounting the cold and the snow. There’s also the law to think about.

Aspen has strict laws against sleeping in public during the evening: Occupying or sleeping in certain places and in vehicles is prohibited. It is unlawful for any person to occupy, lodge, or sleep in any vacant or unoccupied barn, garage, shed, shop, or other building or structure without owning the same or without permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession of the same or sleep in any vacant lot or any public place whatsoever during the hours of darkness.

Parks are public. Therefore, snoozing during daylight hours is legal. It’s possible someone might call the police if concerned about your safety while you snooze, and an officer might check on your safety; nonetheless, it’s legal.

“I recommend a nice 30-minute nap in one of the parks to celebrate the day,” said Matt Kuhns, the city’s parks and open space director. Bundle up.

That’s right on par with NASA, which noted “the perfect nap” lasts for 26 minutes.

Pitkin County Public Library

Ah, a great (or less than great) book, a cozy nook, and warmth. It’s easy to understand a library doze. How long can it last?

“We walk around all the levels of the library every half hour,” said librarian Martha Durgy. “I suppose someone could snooze for 30 minutes before they are gently awoken. We don’t touch people; we just speak to them until they wake up and suggest they get a breath of fresh air.

“There’s certainly a demographic of tired people,” she added. “Frankly, it’s the older ones that doze off most.”

Fun sleep facts

Accroding to the Sleep Foundation and Cleveland Clinic:

  • Of the larger cities in the United States, Boulder has the lowest percentage of adults who sleep less than seven hours per night, coming in at 24.2%. 
  • At 43%, Hawaii has the highest percentage of adults who get seven or fewer hours of sleep per night.
  • Sleeping on the job is less of a problem in Japan. Companies may accept it as a sign of enviable exhaustion from overwork. 
  • Research shows that in the days leading up to a full moon, people go to bed later and sleep less, although the reasons are unclear.  
  • Sea otters hold hands when they sleep, so they don’t drift away from each other.  
  • Tiredness peaks twice a day: Around 2 a.m. and 2 p.m. for most people. That’s at least partly why you’re less alert after lunch, along with digesting the meal. 
  • We are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep.  
  • Today, 75% of us dream in color. Before color television, just 15% of us did. 

Types of naps

Power Nap: Lasts approximately 10 to 20 minutes. These naps can boost energy without drowsiness. 

Hangover Nap: Runs about a half an hour, and that extra 10 minutes leaves many individuals longing for more rest and sleepy.

Recovery Nap: This can also be called the replacement nap and takes place during the day to make up for lost sleep at night.

Pro-active Nap: Also called a prophylactic nap, this nap occurs when an individual anticipates not getting enough nighttime sleep and typically lasts longer than a power nap, often several hours.

The Brainiac: This is a roughly one-hour nap and includes the deepest sleep. Nappers can wake up groggy but may increase their ability for recall.  

Coffee Nap: Although it sounds counterintuitive, there is a nap practice in which an individual will take a nap immediately following intake of caffeine. Full effects of caffeine don’t appear until a half-hour after ingestion, so a power nap post-caffeine meets the parameters.

Appetitive Nap: Sleeping for pure enjoyment can enhance alertness and cognitive function. These naps can last up to four hours and may include REM sleep and a full sleep cycle.