Happy Public Sleeping Day!

by | Feb 27, 2015 | Holidays

Napping in Public
Napping in Public

Not a bad idea / By Ross Pollack / Flickr Creative Commons

I’ve been sleeping around recently. That is, I’ve been taking naps in public.

The winter weather in Boston doesn’t lend itself to doing much sleeping outside these days, but since tomorrow is Public Sleeping Day, I will be getting some shut-eye on a library couch or a bus seat in celebration.

I haven’t always valued sleep so much. In college, I told myself that I could sleep when I was dead and saw sleep as a sign of weakness. Oh how young people can be so stupid – at least I certainly was.1

More and more studies have been proclaiming the benefits of the regular nap. Not only are there health benefits, but companies find their workers are more productive. Universities, Google, and other entities are even providing nap rooms or nap pods.

Personally, I am a better, more alert, happier human being when I get my twenty minutes of couch time in the afternoon. While this is just as true, of course, when I nap in my bedroom as it is when I nap in public, I have found something of value in the very public aspect of this holiday that we – or, well, at least I – will celebrate.

I felt a little self-conscious the first time or two I sprawled out on a couch in my school’s library. What will people think if they see me? Will I have a pool of drool (as is so often the case when I nap)?

Such fears aren’t unique to napping – well, maybe the drooling part is unique to napping. At least I hope so.

I worry about what people think of me all the time. I’m the best version of myself, however, when I put those anxieties aside and embrace who I am – and when I get plenty of rest! Napping in public has helped me do just that.

So, find a couch, curl up, and go for it, and tell me how it is – but just don’t wake me up from my twenty minutes of bliss.


  1. Admittedly, some may still be a little skeptical of my sleep advice. For the last few years, I’ve practiced “segmented sleep” and swear by it, though most people look at me like I’m crazy when I explain that I wake up in the middle of the night for a while and have what I call my “reverse nap.”

Michael Rossmann, SJ

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