Are You Team Couch Nap or Bed Nap? Our Editors Debate

published Jul 1, 2022
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Unless you’re a cranky toddler, I think we can all agree that naps are good — wonderful, even. But when it comes to the type and style of nap, though, I’ve learned that people have strong opinions. Apartment Therapy’s editorial team is no exception. I challenged some of our staff to debate over their preferred nap spot, and try to convince everyone else that they have the superior sleep situation.

Check out how it all went down in our Slack conversation below [lightly edited and condensed].

Tara Bellucci (News & Culture Director): hello @here who’s ready to throw down about NAPPING

Charli Penn (Executive Lifestyle Director): 🥊

Terri Pous (Managing Editor): me, i am

Maddie Bilis (Deputy Lifestyle Director): yes me as well

Megan Baker (Home Projects Director): ok which one of us is wrong, ie which one of us thinks bed naps are superior

Megan: i didn’t come to play
i came to lay
on a couch

Tara: ok let’s start with opening statements of 1-2 sentences of your position and go from there

Terri: several people are typing

Megan: ok here is where i stand: beds are for SLEEPING and a nap is not SLEEPING. a nap is in its own category entirely

Charli: If I’m at home, and not a hotel, couch naps reign supreme. When I go to bed, it’s an experience, and I don’t want it to be interrupted or cut short. My bed is my oasis. So when I need to nap, the couch is the perfect place. I feel like I’m sneaking in extra rest/self care. Like an added bonus.

Maddie: bed naps are far and away the superior naps, but you have to use a blanket on TOP of your covers. you can’t get under your comforter. that is only for night sleeping

Terri: i agree, comforters are NOT for naps

Adrienne Breaux (Tours Director): The reason why couch naps are superior: Naps are a little bit naughty. They’re like little stolen moments of slumber. When the rest of the world is toiling away at work, you’re crawling into your own personal heaven of quiet. So they HAVE to be in any place other than the bed. Because bed is for night sleeping only, and I think when you sleep under the covers, you are confusing your brain and body

I mean, I agree that if there’s a bed nap, it HAS to be on top of the covers

I also sometimes will lay perpendicular

Charli: If I had to “nap in bed” (that’s not a thing) I would certainly do it on top of the comforter.

Megan: adrienne, i fully agree. i have succumbed to bed naps, usually by accident when i am trying to read, and i always wake up in total confusion

Maddie: i understand that couch nap people believe a bed is a sacred place for sleeping, but my no under-the-comforter rule fixes this

Terri: my position is thus: both naps are good, but happen under different circumstances. couch naps, for me, are always accidental: i’m reading or watching tv, and then the sweet, sweet claws of slumber grasp me and i melt away
bed naps are intentional and i WILL AND DO flop myself onto bed for a quick midday power nap as needed

Tara: do y’all just have the world’s comfiest couches tho?

Megan: no i can sleep literally sitting up
i do not need a comfy couch
although i will say mine is pretty comfy, albeit a tiny bit short for a full lay-down

Adrienne: i have a nap CORNER
it’s an oversized lounge chair from the ’70s along with a heavy pouf

Charli: I too have a nap couch/corner, it’s divine — good sunlight and breeze for afternoon spring naps, a window, and it was an investment.

Megan: i don’t like to be in bed in not pajamas. address please

Maddie: i nap in bed in sweatpants

Terri: NAP CLOTHES?
(i know nap dresses are a thing, but!)

Megan: i am very grossed out by outside clothes in bed
i know that’s not the topic here but it’s how i feel

Adrienne: strong no outside clothes on bed

Charli: Nap clothes is a thing. I have nap leggings and outside leggings.
No bras for naps! Ever!

Terri: …no bras ever, period

Adrienne: bra ALWAYS comes off for naps

Megan: i will admit here that most of my clothes are now nap clothes
so i don’t change if i’m on the couch

Maddie: also you can only take a couch nap if other people aren’t around
unless you dont mind snoozing in front of people just walking by you i guess

Megan: depends on who the people are!

Charli: I can sleep around anyone. Self care. LOL

Adrienne: if other people are around, you have to create physical and mental barriers
for example, i will sometimes create a pillow fort

Credit: Courtesy Adrienne Breaux

Adrienne: so you need a light and sound blocker first
which is where the head one comes in
but then you also need to feel surrounded and supported, which is where the top and leg pillows come in

Charli: I love that you have photos 💀

Megan: i do something not as extreme but similar, adrienne
if i really want to zone into my nap, i turn my face toward the back of the couch
and pull up a blanket real high

Terri: i actually sleep better with people around
quiets down the loud thoughts in my mind, AND feels sneaky, which makes sleep more appealing!

Megan: @Terri do you do earbuds or anything?

Terri: no, they are v distracting and annoying

Charli: I have a nap playlist too

Maddie: a nap playlist is bonkers. WHITE NOISE ONLY
GIVE ME LOUD FANS

Charli: Anita Baker’s voice always rocks me to sleep! And Nina Simone too

Adrienne: i would prefer gentle sounds of nature but a lot of times i have to do ear plugs
wow anyone who can fall asleep to music… sorry you’ve lost me on this one Charli
white noise or no noise only please

Megan: i love a nap playlist for a plane but for home naps i go au naturale, baby
my go-to sleep album for a decade has been plans by death cab for cutie

Maddie: my white noise machine sets the mood for nap time

Terri: nature sounds, podcasts, tv, etc. i can fall asleep to, but i’ve never tried music

Charli: I hear you, Adrienne! Nature’s playlist is a song too. The birds on the weekends outside my window understand the assignment!

Megan: i use white noise for my nighttime sleep! never daytime sleep

Adrienne: the best nap in the entire world is a friday afternoon nap while it’s thunderstorming
tell me i’m wrong

Charli: Rain naps are a must!!

Terri: rain naps are the BEST

Adrienne: all pets cuddled up

Megan: ok who here is a prolific fall-asleep-wherever-whenever-if-i-am-tired napper

Adrienne: i weirdly can’t sleep everywhere
i do need a lot of things to line up

Maddie: ok i know this isn’t part of the discourse right now, but falling asleep as a passenger in car? so easy, so good

Terri: perhaps the best nap, maddie

Megan: omg
ok that’s the real wild card here
i LOVE car naps

Charli: agreed, Maddie!!

Adrienne: i can’t ever get comfortable!
y’all are wrong!

Tara: i always feel bad if I’m the only other person in the car tho

Megan: sometimes when i am sleepy in a car i just wish that the drive would be another hour or two

Terri: saaaame, you can even like feel when the end of the road trip is near, even as you’re napping

Adrienne: honestly i get very sleepy when i drive i can’t drive anywhere long distance when it’s my normal nap time i worry

Megan: i have fallen asleep on: cars, trains, planes, boats

Maddie: it reminds me of how some people put baby carriers on top of dryers to get them to sleep. bc of the rocking or whatever. that is a car nap for me

Megan: i fell asleep on a passenger ferry sitting in a dining chair once
i would nap on a dryer

Charli: Ranking Naps: 1. Beach/Vacation outside naps. 2. Couch naps. 3. car naps. 4. Midday naps, period.

Megan: ok so for couch and/or bed naps, what is your blanket situation

Terri: none
ever

Maddie: you don’t need any of these fancy accessories for a bed nap, just saying

Megan: no blanket???

Terri: no

Adrienne: sofa throw at maximum!
but honestly i like a jacket or sweater thrown over me a tad

Megan: don’t you get chilled??

Maddie: a light blanket for a bed nap. sometimes no blanket if i’m feeling really sleepy

Charli: soft throw only!!

Megan: wow
ok
i am outnumbered here
i want to be enveloped in blanket

Terri: i do a little fetal position curl-up and self-heat

Charli: I like blanket + breeze when I can for my couch naps. The perfect combo!

Megan: i want the largest blanket possible
so it covers me all the way to my toes
and has enough extra to roll up next to my face

Tara: why are sofa throws so mis-sized

Adrienne: they are never long enough to pull up to my neck and reach my feet at the same time

Megan: this is the real scandal!!!!
but i also fetal roll so it’s usually okay
i end up using multiple to be able to cover my toesies

Adrienne: see that’s where pets and pillows can come into play
you can use them to strategically cover open spots

Adrienne: i also really, really do not want my partner to nap with me
this is my time
this is not cuddle time
pets only

Charli: Agreed! No new (nap) friends. It’ a solo activity.
Put some respect on my naps.

Maddie: i love when my dog sleeps in her bed beside mine because the sound of her snoring puts me to sleep

Charli: Pets are great warmth. They’re also nap magnets. They know when a good couch nap is happening and run to join!

Tara: what’s your nap length

Adrienne: i nap… for a long time
it’s longer than a normal human

Terri: like 5 mins

Adrienne: okay but i’m not even asleep in 5 minutes
that’s not a nap you’re just closing your eyes

Megan: i’d say my ideal is an hourish
i preface this by saying i do not often nap on purpose
my ideal nap is accidental

Terri: i will wake up and WANT to nap longer, but i know that leads me down a path of destruction
i will wake up in another century if i do that

Charli: Weekend naps, minimum an hour. Weekday “disco naps” minimum 25 minutes lol

Maddie: wait…. 5 minutes??? is not??? a nap???

Terri: y’all ever do a coffee nap
i love those

Megan: it’s a “disco nap”

Adrienne: that’s what i’m saying that’s just closing your eyes
THESE AREN’T OFFICIALLY NAPS Y’ALL ARE OUT OF THE CLUB

Terri: i know!!! but like… i’ll set a timer for 20 mins and then jolt up 5 mins later!

Megan: wow terri
that’s a super power

Terri: haaaave i mentioned i have sleep issues?
lol

Megan: my trouble with naps is usually that i get sucked too deep in

Charli: I want to be your nap guide, Terri

Terri: i used to be a deeeep deep napper, but that just fucked up my nighttime sleep to an unbelievable degree

Tara: is there a nap length where it’s no longer a nap and is a sleep
or is sleep a place

Charli: Good question, Tara! I feel like if I slept more than 2 hours, I probably should have gone to bed…lol

Adrienne: an hour to hour and a half is an actual nap and the way it should be i feel strongly

Megan: @Charli i feel the same

Adrienne: you don’t actually get any sleep if it’s any shorter!?!?
i nap often and i sleep a ton at night YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL

Terri: but the point of napping isn’t sleep, it’s rest

Maddie: anywhere between 30 mins and 1.5 hours works for me

Megan: anything less than an hour is just “shutting my eyes”
i feel like it’s between the two!
rest is 10 minutes of staring at the ceiling

Tara: ok yes what is everyone hoping to get from naps?

Terri: just a little refreshment, for me

Megan: a nap is a baby snooze
a sleep is a full bedtime

Charli: If I sleep less than 25-30 minutes my heart races when I get up and I feel worse, not better

Maddie: when i nap, i hope to get up afterward and have my eyelids not be heavy anymore

Adrienne: i’m fully looking to fall asleep and wake up not feeling tired.
yes! my head feels heavy when i’m sleepy and need a nap

Megan: yeah i want to feel awake again

Charli: I’m hoping to rest my mind and body for a moment to recharge

Adrienne: i wake up and i have energy and i feel less stressed

Maddie: “yeah i want to feel awake again” evergreen tweet

Charli: Socks on or off for naps? I can’t do socks in bed or naps! (like bras)

Adrienne: i wear socks 24/7

Terri: never socks whilst sleeping
must keep the feet open to the elements

Maddie: team No Socks

Tara: my feet are always cold lately so i’m team sock

Megan: mmm good question, i don’t like socks for bed sleeps but i can get into socks for couch sleeps
yeah i just want to be cozy

Maddie: i will wear socks if i choose no blanket tho

Megan: i’m completely baffled by no blanket

Adrienne: as a taurus i’m HORRIFIED by no coverage or extra coziness

Megan: whenever i do any length of sleep i get chilly

Terri: as an aries, you’re all wrong

Adrienne: but tauruses are the queens of comfort we do reign supreme about these things

Terri: guys i really want to nap now
i’m not even tired
but i want the sensation

Charli: Tara, if we take a nap after this do we get extra credit?

Tara: yes

Megan: once, when we’d just moved in and didn’t have any furniture and i just wanted the tiniest bit of sleep
i laid down with my head on the dog bed
it was not terrible

Adrienne: i have… absolutely napped on a dog bed or two in my life
just like, you think you’re cuddling the dog… but then you fall asleep

Tara: ok closing arguments… have you learned anything new? do you want to share a favorite nap of all time (or recently)

Terri: i learned that my naps are too short for this crew

Adrienne: closing argument is that if they really don’t make you feel good, don’t do them. but if you’re not napping because you think you shouldn’t or something, let yourself nap!

Maddie: aw i like that

Megan: i’m interested in trying a smaller nap but i cannot do five min, sorry terri

Adrienne: embrace napping! it’s not laziness it’s self care!

Megan: fully agree
nap the way you like to nap

Maddie: “LET YOURSELF NAP”

Megan: be the nap you want to see in the world

Adrienne: and i personally think that you SHOULD be quiet if someone around you is trying to nap that’s just nap courtesy

Terri: yeah no i refrain from naps because my insomnia gets so bad, but my doctor is like “sleep is sleep. please nap and don’t worry about it”

Megan: i love that terri

Charli: I learned that I might sleep even better without music and I’d like to share that if you can afternoon Couch Nap under a cross breeze on a weekend afternoon, it’s a game changer! This was fun everyone!

Maddie: i want to share a recent fave nap of mine. i was very sleepy from waking up super early, so i drank some cold brew to perk myself up. but it didn’t work so i somehow laid down for a 30 min nap and woke up feeling on top of the world

Terri: THAT’S A COFFEE NAP
i love them

Megan: oooh i need to try a coffee nap
that is my assignment for next week

Charli: I need coffee nap instructions!

Terri: drink something caffeinated, take a nap, and you’ll wake up like 15-30 mins later ready to take on the day
the caffeine kicks in and wakes you up and carries you through

Megan: my best naps? were when i woke up early with our puppy while he was potty training
and i would lay him on my chest and just snooze a little bit before real morning
it was perfect

Tara: everyone try a new nap and report back

Charli: Love that, Tara! Challenge accepted

Megan: i can’t wait to rock my nap world