I’ve never really had a bad nap; maybe ones that were too short, but never bad. Napping on the beach is special though and if you can stay awake long enough, I’ll explain why.
It’s the Beach Silly
I don’t live at the beach and that probably goes for you as well, so anytime we’re there, we’re on vacation. If it’s vacation time it’s relaxing time, so that explains a lot. Vacations are hopefully stress-free times and we’ve been working hard to be able to get away like this. If you’re like me, you’ve been looking so forward to this that the stress flies away so fast it can wear a guy out.
The Music of the Waves
Why do you think there are so many sleeping devices people use that try to reproduce the sound of waves? Because it works, that’s why. The waves gently washing ashore and an occasional sea gull chirping in the distance would lull anyone to sleep. As long as you’re not at some jumping beach resort that is blasting Euro-pop music for the beach volleyball game, you should nod off within minutes. If you are disturbed, move to the other end; there is always a peaceful spot on any beach.
Something in the Air
For those of us who are not from around here, the heat and humidity can be stifling. Good thing we’re on the beach with that constant breeze. Thought the humidity makes me sweat profusely it also relaxes me in a steam-room kind of way. My skin gets softer and the sun actually seems way less intense. Part of that may be because I live over a mile above sea level where lying in the sun can be compared to being a piece of leftover pizza in a microwave oven. It seems you get a nicer, deeper, moister tan on the beach as long as you do use sunscreen and don’t overdo it.
Palapas, Umbrellas and Trees
To get a beach nap you must park under some kind of shade. Palapas are everywhere on Mexican beaches and are basically like umbrellas but much bigger and made of palm fronds. Umbrellas and cabanas are used extensively everywhere as well and are available for free or for rent on most any beach. The thing is, no matter how comfortable or inviting the beach sun may seem, given enough exposure to it, it will burn the crap out of you. Always park for your nap in some shade but remember though that if you fall asleep, that shade you’re lying in is going to move. It doesn’t matter where you’re from; falling asleep for too long in direct sunlight can really ruin your day.
Help a Brother Out
While the most important part to any nap is the “Do not disturb” part, you may want some help on this nap. I fell asleep on a beach on the Mayan Riviera and had one of my best naps ever. I awoke so rested and relaxed I didn’t notice the intense sunburn for an hour or two. The wife had left me sleeping under a Palapa, which she claimed was her defense, but she knew she was in for trouble when that awesome radioactive glow surrounding me was visible while I was still twenty or thirty yards away. As I mentioned, just because you are in the shade one moment doesn’t mean it will last. Just like skiing, or hiking or mountain climbing, beach napping is best done with a friend looking out for you.
We Don’t Need No Stinking Devices
You don’t need an iPod, iPad, tablet, or cellphone. There is absolutely no reason for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Email. Leave all that in your room, or better yet, at home. The sand is soft and warm, the breeze is blowing gently yet steady and the waves are rhythmically soothing to your ears. Go to sleep; it really doesn’t get much better than this.