There are some folks who don't like to nap.

I categorize them with the other "People I Don't Understand": The French; job-seekers with visible tattoos; vegetarians; the Los Angeles Clippers; Garth Brooks fans; and the 4,306 people that voted for Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Obviously, people who don't appreciate a good nap simply aren't working hard enough.

I mean, after five days a week, six hours a day, of laboring in front of the computer, my body is exhausted, my brain frazzled from all that reading, napping, and talking on the phone. Ten hours of sleep a night just doesn't suffice. I need at least two naps over the weekend to truly be fit and rested.

Well, okay, just rested.

I've been napping since the day I was born, and, man, there have been some great ones along the way. Like Hank Aaron when discussing what's the most memorable of his 755 home runs, I can't really pinpoint one nap that sticks out as the very best or the most enjoyable. All are enjoyable in their own wonderful way.

The secret to a soothing siesta - like most everything - is in its preparation. While all nappers have their own preferences, styles, and tastes, the elements of proper respite have to be in place for the most splendid of slumbers. Let me explain the essences of my most satisfying snoozes.

First of all, there is a difference between the vacation nap and the home nap.

The best kind of nap is the beach nap. You spend an active morning on the beach in the sun with your family, or perhaps some strangers. After a hearty noon meal, you retire to solitary sleeping quarters. For the best naps, I would suggest making sure your reservation calls for a beachview on an upper floor with a sliding glass door. That way, prior to napping, you can open the sliding glass door, partially close the curtains, and have an ocean breeze for which to nap with. The bottom-floor simply won't work, as there will be too much noise, or people wandering in occasionally to borrow a glass of water.

If it is hot at this particular beach, as most are, turn the air conditioning as low as it will go before laying down to snooze. Little-known fact: Hotels and condominiums do not charge extra for power usage. Turn down the AC, let the refrigerator door stay open for hours, leave the hair dryer on - it doesn't matter.

For a home nap, I usually don't have the luxury of much solitude, making the fundamentals for a perfect nap slightly different.

The prelude is basically the same - active morning outdoors, preferably a golf outing, followed by a hearty meal. Retirement is usually to my bedroom.

I am a "sleep on top of the covers" napper, so I make sure the bed is made.

Just my personal preference. I turn the TV on to something like a baseball game or Formula One racing or women's college basketball - something in which I can't get too interested.

The sound is barely audible. The AC is set for 68-70 (unfortunately, the hotel won't pay my power bill - despite my pleadings), and a ceiling fan is going full-blast. A UGA afghan rests nearby in case a chill emerges. I place a dark baseball cap on my head with the bill directly over my eyes. The Land of Nod soon beckons, and it is glorious.

Do yourself a favor: Take a nap today. If you can't seem to fall asleep, read this column three more times.

Len Robbins is the editor/publisher of The Clinch County News.

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