Understanding the science of car naps
The world is abuzz about billionaires today, as Forbes magazine has released its annual list of the richest humans on Earth.
If I were a billionaire, I’d spend my cash on running shoes, buy-ins for poker tournaments, and lots and lots of international family travel. I’d also set aside a fat wad of it to fund research into the study of car naps.
Seriously. I mean, what parent wouldn’t?
How is it that these kids of ours manage to stay awake for 85-90 percent of every road trip, only to fall asleep for the home stretch? Why is it that kids who never in a million, billion, trillion years would nap at home, actually fall asleep in a moving car? Finally, why do most kids sleep through any number of noises in the moving vehicle, then awaken immediately when you try to transfer them to their beds at home?
I’ve got questions, people. And as someone who spends a ton of time road-tripping with girls who generally don’t nap, I demand answers.
My kids would be great case studies. This past weekend, for instance, after a fun-filled day in the city, the two of them resisted sleep for 65 of the 75 miles home, then—inexplicably, really—dozed off less than 10 minutes from our house.
Last month we endured a similar scene—I was so happy to see them sleeping in the middle of the day that I sat in the parked car in my own driveway for nearly 30 minutes, just to score them decent rest.
How long must the erratic realities of car napping plague us moms and dads? Is there any hope for us at all, short of blasting music and constantly turning around to tickle our kids in the knees and keep them awake? If a billionaire can’t fund research into this area, perhaps we can get some cash on Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Surely I’m not the only parent determined to find out.
There was a point when my daughter would only nap at home or in the car, and my son only in the car or stroller. So every weekend, after lunch, we’d go on a 90 mile loop so both would nap. It was insane.
I remember those days well, Robin; that was the situation with L when she was younger. I conducted some of my best interviews back in 2010 while sitting in a parked, idling car. 🙂