Wednesday, March 29, 2017

5 Ways to Take Your Nap Up A Notch



Well Besties, if you read yesterday's post, you know I feel pretty strongly about rest.  I know you have probably heard the "this is how much sleep you need" lecture numerous times, but many of us still struggle to get enough shut eye at night.  Whatever the reason, you can count on a nap to rejuvenate you during the day.  And, if you follow the guidelines I lay out for you here, you won't disrupt your nighttime sleep.  I'd say that's a win/win.  

I'm basically a professional napper.  In high school I was a night owl, staying up late to chat online with my friends finish homework most nights of the week, much to my mother's chagrin.  I would come home after school and go straight into a glorious nap.  In college, I depended on a nap almost daily to enable me to stay up late to hang out with my friends study for exams.  And duh, when I became a mom, napping remained an essential form of self care.   Naps = my sanity many days.  Just ask my husband. All that to say, you can trust your Self Care Bestie when it comes to a self care restie.  See what I did there?  ;)

Here are 5 things to keep in mind to make the most of your naps:

Darken the room.  You can do this with room-darkening shades, a sleep mask, or whatever works for you.  Bestie confession:  I used to cover my kids' windows (ok and sometimes my own) with aluminum foil when any of us were having trouble falling asleep during the day.  Don't judge - I read it in a baby book about sleep! In the words of Tim Gunn, "make it work."  

Utilize white noise.  I used to think white noise was annoying and I preferred a quiet room to rest in.  That is, until I became a mom and my mom senses heard every creak, cough, and footstep in the house whenever I would lay down for a nap.  Enter, white noise.  I use an app called Relax Melodies (it's free y'all!) but you can also get a white noise machine to help you drift off easily.  

Utilize visualization.  I talked all about my love of visualization here, but it is especially helpful at nap time, as it gives you something other than the demands of your day to focus on.  It calms your mind and gently prepares you for rest.

Keep your nap between 30-60 minutes.  Various studies have reached differing conclusions on the ideal nap length.  Most, however, agree that longer than 30 minutes but less than 60 minutes is best for achieving all the benefits of napping without causing you to be awake all night.  So unless you don't mind having a staring contest with your alarm clock at 3 am, it's best to set an alarm for your nap.

Don't stress if you can't fall asleep.  This is a biggie.  If you can't fall asleep during your nap (or at night, for that matter), for goodness' sake, don't worry about it.  A nap is supposed to take stress away, not add more to your plate.  If you have tried the above suggestions and still can't get to sleep for some reason, that's ok. Resting with your eyes closed and your feet up gives you almost the exact same benefits of actually falling asleep.  Give your body the opportunity to sleep, and see what happens.  Just like with a baby, you can't make yourself sleep.  The sooner you are ok with this, the greater the likelihood you actually will catch a few z's.  

I hope you will give these suggestions a try!  If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments!  Happy napping, Besties!


I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com .  All opinions expressed are my own and I never recommend a product unless I truly love it!

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