John B Keane: Dozing is an art that has to be cultivated

One must be well into the thirties, with possible extraordinary exceptions, before one reaches any degree of proficiency at the art of dozing.

One must be well into the thirties, with possible extraordinary exceptions, before one reaches any degree of proficiency at the art of dozing.

I will concede that younger folk drop off and often fall into a heavy sleep as a consequence of having been out all night, but surely this is not dozing. This is something they cannot help. What I refer to is the cultivation of an art.

Just as an actor starts off with bit parts before leads are offered to them, so also must the dozer content himself with short snappy periods of pseudo-sleep before he qualifies for the position of full-time dozer.

As a matter of fact it is only lately that I myself have acquired the know-how for indulging in brief after-dinner dozes and remember that I am no schoolboy but a man who has entered his forty-first year.

Attempts at cultivated dozing usually begin after a visit to one’s physician. One finds one’s weight mounting and one’s breath coming quicker.

The physician advises exercise but in his wisdom he may also recommend a short nap after the midday meal.

This would be the equivalent of the siesta beloved of Mexicans, Spaniards and others who let the sun get the better of them.

For a man who has no natural tendencies towards midday snoozing the first attempts may be difficult and often painful.

When the dinner is eaten one is required to sit back in a comfortable chair, close the eyes and surrender the body to absolute inactivity.

This sitting back must be in no way compared with what is known as a bit of a stretch. Stretching involves a bed and even in the loosest possible interpretation the bed must not be used if dozing is to be legitimate.

The pain results when the green dozer does not sit back properly. He leaves himself open to pains and cramps of all kinds.

No. Dozing cannot be cultivated overnight. It is a sort of self-hypnosis calling for prolonged concentration until it is finally mastered.

Personally speaking it could be said that I am a useful dozer, that is to say I can sit back in an armchair or any other comfortable sort of seat and find myself dozing contentedly within seconds.

Man, of course, by his very natural aggressiveness and defensiveness is not really cut out for dozing. As I said earlier it may take years before he becomes reasonably proficient at it.

Your best dozer is the opposite number. She can throw herself down anywhere, anytime, and be blissfully dozing the minute she sits.

Women find so little time to doze, however, that they just cannot indulge indoors. This is why so many women are to be found snoozing on beaches during summer time.

They may pretend they are after a tan but the truth is that the dozing has broken out in them and they cannot resist.

Some really accomplished female dozers can carry on a conversation while dozing. I do not mean that they will carry or pretend to carry the exchanges.

No indeed but they will certainly contribute with negatives and affirmatives with astonishing accuracy in the dispositions of both ayes and nays respectively.

There are many kinds of male dozers. While all women snorers are alike, they never abandon themselves totally, but are always fully conscious and can rouse themselves in a split second if necessary.

The male dozer on the other hand is extremely difficult to rouse. It is a dangerous and foolhardy sport. I personally know men who have been socked and even kicked for interfering with male dozers.

Without wishing to sound vain I may say that I am a pretty good judge of a dozer. They may be broken up into three types or rather three main types. We must never forget the extremist.

First there is the snoozy dozer who is quiet and reasonable when awakened.

Secondly there is the snarly snoozer who grunts barks and snarls when he dozes. He should be approached with great caution.

This type of dozer frequently falls asleep on trains and buses and often has to be alerted when his station draws nigh.

You would imagine him to be grateful to the conductor who was thoughtful enough to remember him and who, by the way, gets no extra pay for doing so. Instead of danger money, all he gets is abuse.

Bad, however, as the snarly dozer is, the worst of all is the third type for whom I cannot conveniently find a label.

He is the dozer who dozes with his eyes wide open. It is difficult to know whether he is dozing or not, but any experienced person will know from his breathing. It is a poor firm who cannot carry a few dozers of this type.

While he may seem to be wide awake, he is in reality the deepest dozer of all. He should not be awakened under any circumstances. Give him an hour or two and he will come around himself.