When I was in college I remember having an afternoon routine that the 29 year old me is ridiculously jealous of. I’d get back from class, nap, go to the gym, shower and go to dinner where everything was made to order and we had about 10 different stations to devour from and you had to have SERIOUS portion control! All good stuff, but the keyword here is NAP. NAPS! I’ve never been a great napper. I actually stopped napping as a toddler at 16 months old and apparently I hardly ever looked back until now. NOW, I’d do anything to have that 19 year old schedule that INCLUDED a nap. When my children refuse to nap I actually look at them and tell them I’d do anything to be napping right now. They don’t get it. And they won’t until they are 29 with two children and no time for nappies. So, here I am. I hardly ever take a break for a nap when I can.
I still remember when I just had my son and he’d go down for his 1 to 2 naps per day (depending on his age) and I would have to choose, do some chores or nap? When I did choose to nap it was luxurious, like the best mini vacation I’d ever been on. When I’d wake up to the sound of his giggles and crib conversation I’d think, oh…just 5 more minutes. I have some time before your giggles turn to screams for “MAMA!” to get you out. Fast forward to two children and I hardly ever get a nap in when I am home with them. Getting both to nap at the same time has been impossible lately. I nap maybe once every couple of months? Haha. Within the nap it’s the struggle to not over sleep. So, what is that cut off?
The best nap one can take is between 20 minutes and 90 minutes. But that 20-30 is ideal and leaves you feeling very refreshed and rejuvenated. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the 30 minute nap will give you short term alertness without interfering with your nighttime routine. Once you get past that 90 minute mark you tend to feel more groggy and more sleepy than you did before you took your nap. This is because your body goes into deeper sleep and for longer (as if you are calling it a day) Napping for too long can interfere with your night time sleep routine so be careful!
Helpful tips for taking naps:
1. Make sure the room you are in is dark, no bright devices on
2. Have a good temperature
3. Practice some deep breathing or mindfulness
4. Set an alarm for the MAX time you’d want to sleep for
5. Diffuse a calming essential oil such as lavender
Do you nap? Do you like napping? Do you wish you could nap? I find that some days just so that I am a happier mother and person at that, I need a nap. I wake up early and go to bed later than I probably should so a quick nap can feel so good!
Things To Help you Nap: