Power naps have a purpose

By Helena Rodriguez

My one and only nephew, Bobby Stoppel of Albuquerque, introduced me to a phrase called “power napping” when he visited recently.
I’d never heard of a “power nap,” but since it came from Bobby, I figured it was a cool new concept sweeping America by storm like Krispy Kreme donuts and reality TV did a few years ago. After all, every time I see Bobby, he’s got a new image. He’s gone from cowboy to cholo to a slick new British sort of look in one year.
Bobby and his sister, my niece Kimberly, came to town when their grandparents, Dub and Kathy Melton, renewed their wedding vows on April 3. I called Bobby to see when he would be over because I didn’t want to miss seeing him before he left and Bobby responded, “We’ll be there in a little bit. I’m just going to take a power nap.”
I forgot to ask Bobby what a “power nap” is. I’m usually out of the loop when it comes to hip stuff. But I assume it’s like a Power Point. Something quick and to the point. Or something like a Powerade, a quick boost, or rather, a quick snooze, to get you going again.
What an interesting concept, I thought to myself. I think I’ll take a power nap right now. Count to 10.
OK, I’m back from my power nap.
That got me started thinking about the whole concept of naps. In prehistoric times, just before the Vivarin Age, people engaged in this activity called “napping,” which was considered normal back in those dark ages. Ah, The great American siesta! Are they becoming obscure now days, or are siestas making a comeback in the form of “power naps?” How about “power siestas?”
You be the judge.
I used to be an anti-napper. Now, I’m a newly converted pro-napper. I recall only two years ago a conversation that I had with a fellow reporter at the Abilene Reporter-News in Texas. I was twisting my nose about a news story on our Commander-In-Chief, George W. Bush, who has to have his daily nap at a certain time every day, like clockwork.”
“Why that lazy, no good for nothing, son of a …” I started to mutter. Sleeping on taxpayers’ time. But then Brien Murphy sort of cut me off and said, “If there’s anyone that I want to be well rested, it’s the president of the United States.”
After taking a few moments to think this through — I engaged in “power thinking” without even knowing it — I had to concur. If there’s anyone I want to be well rested, it’s definitely that cowboy in the Oval Office who has access to buttons that could forever change the face of the Earth.
I think everyone should be mandated to take a nap every day, at least a 15-minute power nap. Truck drivers are not the only ones endangering our lives when they don’t get enough Zs.
I want my English professors to be well rested, or to at least be considerate and provide enough boring lecture material so we students can have our power naps. I want the doctor who treats my daughter to be well rested. I want the police officer who patrols my neighborhood to be well rested. I want the person who bottles my Starbucks mocha coffee to be well rested. I want my priest, Father Tobin, to be well rested.
And I definitely want my dad, Julio, who has risen at the crack of dawn every weekday for the past 38 years, since before I was born, to make the donuts at Eastern New Mexico University, to be well rested. After all, how can a college expect to provide a quality education without good donuts?
When I worked for the Hobbs News-Sun in the late 1990s, I interviewed Robert Fulghum, who wrote the book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” In his best-seller, Fulghum lists some of the basic rules we learned in kindergarten and should carry with us all of our lives. Things like: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Also on that list: Take a nap every afternoon.
Now playing fair or sharing can be a big concept for even us adults to grasp, but I think we can manage the power nap thing every afternoon. So tell your boss, but be prepared. Your boss may say something like, “Who do you think you are, president of the United States?”
Just calmly reply, “No sir, but I did graduate from kindergarten.”