Permission to Nap
Studies show that a daily nap is both restorative and can actually contribute to good night sleep. We are much like our toddler children. I remember the first few times my 2-year-old, would miss her afternoon nap, I would mistakenly think, no nap, no big deal. Naively, I assumed that she would just fall asleep earlier and with ease that night.
I wish! It was exactly the opposite. Without that afternoon nap, getting her down for the night was a nightmare. Her nervous system tired but wired and ironically she lacked the energy to transition into relaxation. My poor little girl’s ability to sleep was compromised and she needed lots of extra care. We realized that setting her up for successful sleep cycles required a fierce family commitment to her afternoon nap.
If you are having a difficult time falling asleep than an afternoon nap may be the very thing that you need. Pushing through your fatigue in hopes that you will have an easier time falling asleep later is actually a myth.
This is most likely the time in the blog where you think, is she off her rocker? As if I have time for a nap? Only the independently wealthy have the luxury of an afternoon sleep session. I am here to challenge that thinking and have you believing an afternoon siesta is within your reach.
The key to an impactful and accessible afternoon nap is keeping it short and sweet, what you are aiming to achieve is a rest that is less than 20 min. I get it, at the 15-20 minute marker is exactly around the time you are really dozing off. You have let go of your surroundings and may have even moved into light dreaming, so when that alarm goes off it will take all of your will power to get up and back into your day. If you snuggle back between the covers beyond this time, it will begin to interfere it will absolutely disrupt your sleep that night.
You want to create a comfortable but not too cozy environment so that you are able to rest while not going into a deep sleep. This is not the time to put on the noise maker, get the lavender essential oils infusing nor dark out the windows. Perhaps you lie down on the couch or your yoga mat, find a spot that is easy and comfortable to use.
With a requirement of only 15-20 minutes, time for a nap is a matter of choice. Instead of coming home and turning on the TV or surfing your social media accounts, stop, find a comfortable space and let go for 15 minutes. Your energy levels will be restored and your sleep quality better that night.