Monday, 15 April 2013

Ready for that nap now..

bus napping, the art of sleeping on the bus and spending just a moment or two more in the arms of Morpheus, without missing your stop.  Bus napper, person who intentionally sleeps on bus journeys, not someone who steals a bus, that has a k in it instead of zzzzz's

If you pop" napping on the bus" or a variation thereof, into a search engine you are going to find quite a lot of entries, from Canadian journalists lauding the confidence of the napper to those advocating various napping positions for the long distance traveller, although to my mind anything over an hour is not napping that's sleeping with a small s anything more than two hours is sleeping with a big S.  Some people have trouble doing that in a bed never mind on the bus.

Considerations and worries for the  novice napper and some gentle advice.

What if I snore or drool, won't that be embarrassing, yes if you do, so do you know your sleeping habits? ask your family if you snore when you fall asleep sitting up? Do you end up sleeping with your mouth open? If the answer is yes then what. Well you could try sleeping with your chin resting on your hand which keeps the mouth closed which can help with both problems but you need to find what works best for you.

What about keeping my belongings safe if I am asleep. Depends on what you have, how busy the bus and how deeply you nap.  I have a bag or occasionally two. I have them on my lap, valuables bag underneath the other and my arms wrapped round both.  I nap lightly and know if someone has sat down on the seat next to me, early morning bus and quite often regulars so far no problem.  The busier the bus and the deeper you sleep the more this might be an issue.  Assess your risk and make the appropriate choice for you and your journey.

What if I lean on someone ? Napping is best accomplished in a window seat so you can lean into the side of the bus and away from anyone sitting next to you.  Try sitting that way to form the habit before you try the sleeping part.

And the big one, what if I miss my stop?  That is where learning the route first comes in, marking reference points, getting a feel for the bus so you know when it stops.  Learning the landmarks so cracking one eye open for a second is sufficient to orientate you and give you a sense of time.  Try just closing your eyes and gauging where you are before trying to nap.

As for me, well when I started on the one bus  it was a reasonable napping time and a second bus station as my disembarkation point, that helped.  On dark mornings the neon signs of shops and a petrol station make good landmarks.  A very rough bit of road on the approach to my midway change over point is brilliant as it rattles the bus and me with the right timing for pressing the bell to get off.  If they ever get it repaired then I might have a problem.  From the second bus there is, near journeys end a quick dip down from the main road a long turn right at one roundabout then a left right, the combination is like a magic wake up call.  Works better than my alarm at home.

Do I nap every morning? no, sometimes I read on bus one and nap on bus two, rarely the other way around and if I am extra tired or feeling the cold that's when double napping occurs.

A cautionary warning, try not to nap standing up at the bus stop, if you have got that tired you need to do something  about it more than bus napping to address the problem.  And you will probably miss the bus!

Oh and a cautionary warning about the bus napper, a person with their eyes closed is not necessarily asleep and just because someone can't see does not mean they cant hear.  Although perhaps that is a cautionary reminder for on a bus regardless, I expect to come back to that point later.

The shop keeping Flyaway was a bus napper on both the outward and homeward bound parts of the journey.  He leaned his head against the window and was so relaxed into the movement of the bus his head would slide backwards and forwards with the motion of the bus.  For those not used to seeing him nap there was the temptation to wake him just in case he had missed a stop.  Generally speaking unless you are certain which stop a napper wants to be off at, let sleeping nappers lie!.  With napping flyaway I didn't even bother with that, he always woke up to the second of when he needed to anytime I saw him dozing the time away.