I chose to nap when I got home from work – some US corporations have adopted a nap-friendly policy to boost productivity, but if I tried catching 40 winks at my desk here in London I’d be out on my ear.
So I silenced the boyfriend’s hellos, batted away the cat’s pitiful pleas for food (pah!), climbed the wooden stairs to bedsville, put my iPhone in Airplane Mode and locked myself in my darkened bedroom.
Your nap can be between 20 and 70 minutes long – I opted for the former, for there is dinner to be had, and episodes of House to downlo – *cough* – watch.
It’s Monday, and I’ve spent the entire weekend grappling with a severe migraine, so I started out tired, headachey and a bit glum, with a tense jaw and shoulders.
At first it’s a bit weird to be lying on top of the covers in your day clothes while some space music goes BONGGGGG in your ears, and a nice gentle man’s voice tells you to go on, have a nice long stretch.
And of course when I did stretch, my hand hit my bedside lamp, which reminded me that I YET AGAIN forgot to buy bayonet bulbs, and I almost catapulted myself into writing a mental shopping list, but I soon brought my attention back to Pzizz.
This is what it’s like:
- The nice man with the deep voice (where’s he from, you’ll find yourself wondering initially. America? New Zealand? Australia?) tells you that in 20 minutes he’ll wake you up, but for now you’re to relax.
- The background music starts up – this swells and fades and moves from ear to ear. It’s partly what you’d expect – lots of Tibetan singing bowls and birds tweeting. But a lot of it is unusual for a relaxation soundtrack – sort of major note, major note, MINOR NOTE. Imagine Boards of Canada scoring a horror movie and you’re halfway there.
- The ‘aura’ – sound effects – also start up, rising, falling, swirling around. Lots of very realistic sea and wind noises. There was one which I absolutely loved – it sounded like I was high above a windy winter forest – I wanted it to go on forever. Some of them were very spacey and futuristic, which I also liked, plus there were a few industrial ones, which sounded as though I were standing close to a massive generator.
- The binaural beats kick in – I didn’t hear these so much as feel them; at one point I thought my heart was beating rather fast, then I realised I could “feel” another “heartbeat” in my other ear, at a different speed.
- After a few minutes the nice gentle man’s voice goes a bit echoey and swirly, offering up little tidbits of wisdom such as “sometimes, applying less effort but planning more thoroughly, can be very productive” (I’m paraphrasing of course).
- Around this time it all gets a bit vague because I was lost in a soundtrack-assisted future space reverie that involved me zooming above a nighttime seascape, wrapped in neon lights, on my way to dock with a sentient ship from an Ian M. Banks novel (which was nice).
- Then all the gloopy, spacey, mellow noises fall away and with a slight fanfare the nice gentle-voiced man tells you it’s time to wake UP!
And that’s it.
Well, I still feel tired but my head’s less achey and the tension’s decreased in my jaw and shoulders. I feel relaxed and quiet rather than glum. I don’t feel like I’ve had a nap, exactly – I don’t have the lurching “wuh?”s that come on post-nap – but I do feel more peaceful. I wonder if that’s Pzizz or the Pavlovian response to the staples of the spa experience, Tibetan singing bowls.
And though my memory of the nap’s not complete, I am pretty sure no one told me to be a chicken.
Tomorrow will be more challenging as I am visiting a friend after work. I may try napping on the train if I get a seat, or else I shall have to march past her greetings and ask to be directed to a spare bedroom for 20 minutes. We shall see.
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