Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Art of the Nap

Oh naps, how I love thee....
I am a napper. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't take a nap. Those that know me best can attest to this.

Now some day that means getting to just lie down and relax my body enough that I am able to drift off for only 5 minutes. Some days, like today, this means pulling the shades and crawling under the full mess of blankets and drifting off hard enough and long enough to dream. Today I slept for over an hour. Yesterday I barely clocked 15 minutes of rest from laying down to rising.

There are many reasons I nap, the main two reasons conflict-----> I am a night owl ----> I have to rise early .

---->I am a night owl and tend to stay up until midnight. This is in my nature, but, it is also the only time the house is quiet and I can 1)think 2)do my own things 3) get anything that takes more then 10 minutes accomplished.

----> I am forced to wake long before the sun even thinks of shining. I need to get three wee ones on the bus at 7 a.m. and my dearest out the door by 7:15 a.m. They need to be fed, dressed, lunches packed, backpacks packed and ready, and fully clothed in their layer of snow clothing etc. Then I turn around and get one more wee one moving and out the door in time for preschool.

I have always needed more sleep then the average Julie (why would I say Joe? His average amount of sleep doesn't affect me!) Anyway, I have become so good at these little naps that I have some pointers. Now, this is for those who have children, children that don't nap anymore (3+ years old)

1) Don't crawl into your bed unless you are guaranteed at least 1 hour of sleep. Use the couch or chair or other comfortable spot instead.
2)Find an incredibly comfortable position that you can assume every time. Take the time to get into this position this will save you from rolling and fussing and wasting valuable napping time.
3) Place the phone and t.v. remote close by.
4) Plan your nap around your child's favorite program.
5) Lay down a few minutes before the program starts.
6) Provide all necessary things for your child - juice, snack, pillow, blanket, etc.
7) Call your friend and tell them not to call for the next hour.
8) Settle in - give your child instructions to wake you after the program is over. "Ok, honey, when Go Diego Go is done wake mommy up." (napping longer then 30 minutes will make you feel worse - unless you can sleep longer then 1 hour)
9) Let your mind wonder don't worry about all you are not doing. Know you will be a better person in less then 1/2 hour.
10) Allow yourself at least 20 minutes to wake fully before trying to really accomplish anything after rising from your nap.

Elapsed Time - 10 minutes to fall fully asleep, 30 minutes sleep, 20 minutes to fully wake again = 1 hour.

I am a better person for napping - It helps me be more patient, organized, productive, and just all around bearable! I guess I explain it away as this - I can either "waste" 1 hour napping/waking back up or I can "waste" from 1 o'clock on feeling tired, grumpy, and just plain miserable. Plus, there are proven health benefits to a "power nap"

Yes, naps - I love thee! It is a fine art for sure.

Of course this post is written on the side of humor - please don't leave me nasty comments saying I am abusing my child by sleeping while they are awake, or that I am endangering them. If you want to see a child whose health is in danger see an over tired, over stressed/unappreciated mom on the verge - then we will talk! :)


Sandra said...

I think your child is perfectly fine while you doze. : )

I don't sleep well, it' s lifelong problem. I also can't nap. But I have learned tricks for resting at night even though I'm not sleeping. I'm envious of your restful hour.

Adan said...

being a power napper myself, I truly love this post.

I only get a few minutes, but I am always feeling refreshed!

Amy said...

I am assuming that you had to add number 7 because of my always impeccable timing.

Just Jules said...

Well, I'm not naming names..... but, yeah maybe if #7 hits home then.....

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Naps are the regeneration of a day...couldn't live without them!

Laura Doyle said...

All in favor of reinstating mandatory naptime, say aye!

martha miller said...

so smart, so right. naps are good medicine!! i like to find a spot where the sun is shining in through a window and nap there, even if it's on the floor (i think i am part cat...) or right in front of the woodstove.

thanks for popping in on my blog!

Private said...

Awe sweet photos. Boy do I need a nap.

D Wright said...

Ah! I want a nap!
I am always looking for good books to read. I love reading books by Jan Karon too. I also enjoy her website at Check it out. I thing you will enjoy the site!
I am off to a sunny window with a good book to nod off with!