So here’s some news: Being alive is exhausting. And occasionally requires brief sleep interludes outside of normal sleeping hours.
These interludes are called naps. Marissa Mayer took one, made headlines, and issued an apology in an interview with Bloomberg. Then Cara Delevingne took naps during a Vogue interview — but since the offended party was Plum Sykes, Delvingne chose to tweet an angry defense rather than apologize. “All I can say is that I work extremely hard and ‘sleeping’ is proof that sometimes I work too hard,” she wrote. “I apologise for being so ambitious.”
Point: Delevingne. Both of these women work constantly. Were these optimal nap times? Mayer was two hours late for a dinner meeting, so probably not. But Mayer had reportedly been awake for 20 hours and runs Yahoo. And Delevingne is more than exhausted from modeling, partying, and bearing the entire weight of the bushy eyebrow trend on her delicate face.
“Having it all” (if we’re still pretending that’s a unicorn worth chasing) requires a lot of energy — more energy than 4 to 8 hours of sleep a night gives us. We should celebrate Mayer’s and Delevingne’s open napping because napping is glorious. Glorious! And necessary to survival. A nap improves cognitive functioning, is proven to be more effective than caffeine, make us better people, and provides increased time to enjoy fluffy pillows. Still not sold? Just think about this: A lack of sleep will kill you and make you ugly.
Somewhere in the post-preschool stage of life, adults develop an anti-nap mentality. It is something to be done only apologetically, when you’re over-exhausted, sick, hung-over, or just lazy. Only 34 percent of Americans will admit to napping. I used to be one of the anti-nappers in my youth. I’d declare, “I don’t like sleep; it’s a waste of time,” and then pretend I was the first person to discover classic rock because I was a fetus and knew nothing about life. Now I take naps all over the place: while getting my hair washed at the salon, on afternoon subway rides, in bathroom stalls. I’ll take a nap before bed, because I need to recharge before I have the energy to go get ready for bed. In fact, I’m napping right now. With my eyes open. While writing this.
Join Cara, Marissa, and me in taking back the nap. Close the door to your corner office and take a little snooze. Crawl under your desk like you’re looking for something and take a secret power-nap. Find a bench, put on your sunglasses, and nap sitting up so nobody knows. It’s thrilling. So thrilling you might need a nap afterward.