Contrary to our "always on culture" making restful sleep a priority is the best thing we can do in our quest for healthful living.
Even when my little one refuses, I schedule in a nap. Napping for me provides increased energy, a boost in my mood and decreased anxiety.
The purpose of a nap is NOT to hibernate. I'll admit daylight savings and cooler weather are an awesome recipe for long naps. The problem is oversleeping can be counterproductive. Sleeping too long during the day can make us more sluggish or inhibit a full night's rest. Not good!
A nap is best when it lasts 15-30 minutes. Not a mid-day sleeper or hate naps? No problem! The goal is to REST. Actual slumber doesn't necessarily need to occur. Often I am too anxious to sleep, so I will use the time to reflect quietly or do some light reading.
There are great benefits to resting our body and mind in this way. It really doesn't matter where the rest happens. Nap in your car during lunch at work. (lock the doors!) Or on a big comfy couch, an actual bed or wherever you can find quiet. It's like a midday gift to our ourselves when we schedule in down time.
Scheduling a rest period during the day may be challenging, but it happens to be one of my top beauty secrets. Sleep looks good on everyone! Less undereye bags and droopy skin is a good thing right?
So, how DO I nap when my little one refuses?
In order to schedule in a rest period during my day I schedule it after an activity that has exerted Little Miss. A simple trip to the playground usually does the trick. At 5 years old Little Miss naps maybe 2 x's per week. She knows we have a scheduled quiet period and usually cooperates. I give her the option of looking at books in her bed, playing quietly, or enjoying kid friendly games loaded on her Kindle and Leapfrog.
Time, experience and 2 kids has taught me to be at peace with my child's sleeping preferences. Why do we parents want to control our kids sleep? I laugh at myself now fretting unnecessarily. Much like adults, kids sleep when they are ready. We are all blessed with individual circadian biological clocks. Our natural body rhythm tells us when we need to rest. Why fight it? You know the saying, "Pick your battles".
Napping even when my child refuses helps me power through my day and prep for the 2nd shift hours. Late nights, being an early riser means fatigue sets in quick. A nap keeps me from being "sleep drunk", and overdosing on caffeine.
What say you? How would a nap help you better handle the day to day? Are you power napper?