Power of a Nap ▏睡午觉 shùi wǔjiào

baby-sleeping-2073290__480That’s right! I’m writing about napping in this post. And that’s the word of the day: 睡午觉 shùi wǔjiào, to take a mid-day nap in English.

See, it’s a very simple Chinese phrase which is not that difficult for any Chinese learners to remember. 午觉wǔjiào means noon-nap whereas 睡shùi literally refers to sleep. So, we are looking at a direct translation: sleep noon-nap, and that’s what people in the English world say—-to take a mid-day nap.

In fact, I just woke up from a ten-minute nap by the time I started typing away the words for this post. It had been a busy day, with an overloaded work list. When I completed it all, my brain decided to go for a break and brought my thoughts to the dreamland for a short stay right after I closed my eyes seeking for rest. Now here I am, fresh-minded and back to the keyboard with a post idea for this week.

We forget or simply overlook the power of a nap quite often, even for me, someone who has inherited the culture that values napping greatly. In China, we nap. It’s part of daily activity for majority of us the native if not for all. In my school years, we were required to take siestas, and napping was on the curriculum list posted to the bulletin board inside each classroom. Most of the time, we just sat in our chair next to a desk and nested our head upon our arms to nap away. Perhaps my drawing in the following image speaks more clearly on how we napped as kids in Chinese schools.

I hope this drawing serves its purpose..haha..

I remember when I told my husband about it, he was very surprised. Growing up in Europe, my husband never had this experience in his school years. As a matter of fact, a mutual surprise stroke to both of us when on this subject. I couldn’t believe in the country where he is from, kids don’t have napping break. We did have a pro-and-con argument on whether nap is for everyone. Now over the years learning Chinese in China, working alongside his Chinese colleagues, and living a life shared with a Chinese wife me, he is used to seeing people take naps in schools and at work now. It’s funny sometimes to see such ripples as small as napping in conversations created when two cultures meet.

I’m all for the power of a nap. Well, how about you? Do you take naps daily? Leave a comment to let me know. Hope you enjoy this post and have learned this new word in Chinese: 睡午觉 shùi wǔjiào.


7 thoughts on “Power of a Nap ▏睡午觉 shùi wǔjiào

    1. Haha good question! That term often refers to early afternoon, somewhere like 1 to 3 o’clock. Thanks for the thought! To take an afternoon nap or mid-day nap in English is more accurate to describe 睡午觉. 🙂


    2. To follow up, if we take a nap at anytime of the day, we can say 打个盹 dǎ gèdǔn in Chinese. It literally says ‘beat single/individual nap’—-hahha…I know the word-by-word translation makes it sound funny—-so you may say: 我想打个盹。 I want to take a nap. (to indicate taking a nap at anytime of the day)Hope this follow-up piece is helpful. 🙂


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