Having a good “power nap” can make a tired, busy, or stressed out mom feel so much better. Here’s how to do it well.
Do you feel wiped out during the day and weary by bedtime?
Here it is, ladies… the art of the power nap.
Being a mom is exhausting, for many reasons:
There is the worry, the endless needs that we must meet for our children, and simply the hyper vigilance of being a mom in general.
So… whether you get up early in the morning to get things done (like I do) or if you stay up later at night to have some silent you time, most moms could do with a little refresh during the day.
I personally am in love with power naps. Actually I call them disco naps except that is misleading because I do not disco.
What’s a power nap?
You don’t even necessarily have to fall into a deep sleep, but rather drift off and relax your mind and body for a short period during the afternoon slump.
If done right, you should wake up refreshed and more alert.
How can a busy mom power nap?
A busy mom with small children – even small children close in age – can definitely find time to get a bit of rest during the day to help make it through.
I also think a power nap can be a good ideas for moms who find themself falling asleep at 8:30 pm. I get up early these days to work before the kids get up and sometimes, by 8:45 pm I am literally falling asleep.
While that’s all fine and good, it means that the majority of my day is spent busy with the kids, but I can’t even take advantage of the evening hours because I’m too wiped out.
The way I combat this (and have done for years) is to take a quick afternoon nap. I still go to bed early, let’s be honest, but I don’t crash and burn right after I’ve gotten them into bed. It leaves time for my evening routines and my self-care routines.
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1. Time the nap wisely
I’ll usually take a power nap in the afternoon when all the kids are down for naps at the same time. Because they’re all in their rooms, safe and sound and monitored, I feel comfortable taking a quick nap.
I’ll do it near them so that I’ve got one ear open if they need me. Or even IN the room with one of the kids if need be. This may even happen during their Quiet Time.
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2. Use a timer
I’ve already talked about what a great tool the timer is, but here’s another use for it.
A power nap goes past the point of usefulness if it lasts longer than 20-30 minutes. If you can sleep a bit longer you might not need a timer, but if you’d sleep for hours then it’d likely become counterproductive for you.
For me, longer than a 20-30 minute cat nap, and I feel sluggish and lethargic upon waking.
It needs to be quick so a timer or alarm so you wake when you’re supposed to.
3. Set the scene for a great power nap
I use the term “setting the scene” often, but essentially this means make it a good environment to do whatever it is you want to do.
You can’t go to great lengths for a 20 minute nap but you can lay somewhere quiet and get an eye mask. I love an eye mask.
- Lie down somewhere quiet and central so you can hear all the kids
- Put on an eye mask or something soothing to help you wind down
- Use low white noise or turn on a fan for some low repetitive noise
It goes without saying, but I must say, that you shouldn’t take a power nap with kids awake and running around which will be unsafe.
I am speaking of napping when they’re napping, being cared for, or already asleep for the evening.
4. Practice relaxing
If you take a while to fall asleep, don’t fear.
When you lay down, practice relaxing your body from head to toe. This is actually a relaxation technique from the Bradley Method of childbirth.
Anyway, you just think about your head, neck, shoulders, etc. and relax them as you go down. Even if you don’t fall fast asleep you’ll have rested your body and relaxed.
I often think this exact thought, “Even if I don’t fall asleep, it’s nice to lay down and rest.” That helps me from getting antsy and anxious that I won’t fall asleep fast.
- pinpoint an issue
- draw out how it’s affecting you
- label what you don’t like about it
- determine areas of responsibility
- figure out how it’s showing up
- say what you’d rather happen
- brainstorm solutions
5. Get up when it’s over
When time is up, stand up quickly and get moving. This is key because you don’t want to give in to napping longer (unless you need to, of course) nor do you want sluggishness to set in.
Stand up and do a good stretch.