By: Madeline Glasser
Being a mom is a 24/7 job: The always-on-call duties can leave even the most energetic moms feeling drained and tired. One way to combat the afternoon slump and refuel your energy is to sneak in a quick power nap.
For a power nap to be effective, though, a few simple rules need to be followed. When you keep these five things in mind, you can have a great power nap and wake up feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to conquer the rest of the day.
1. Find a Good Spot
Easier said than done when you’re a mom, right? Find a nice spot for your little siesta that’s conducive to good rest. Someplace dark and cool is ideal.
2. Keep it Short
An ideal power nap lasts 20-30 minutes. Set an alarm so you’ll wake up before you fall into a deeper sleep. Extending a power nap beyond that timeframe can actually have an opposite effect and leave you feeling groggy. Even if you don’t fall completely asleep during your power nap, make sure you get up when the alarm sounds. Simply resting for a short period of time can help boost your energy levels and give your mind a time to reset.
3. Time it Right
Afternoons are the perfect time of day to sneak in a quick power nap since most of us start feeling a little tired after eating lunch.
Schedule it for the middle of the afternoon and make sure you’re done by approximately 4 p.m. If you nap later than that, you may find yourself having a difficult time falling asleep at night.
4. Use White Noise
By turning on a white noise machine or some relaxing music, you can help yourself fall asleep faster and easier. You can even download a white noise app — it’s an effective (and portable) substitute.
5. Practice Relaxation Techniques
If you’re starting to make power naps a regular part of your schedule, you might find it difficult to fall asleep. This is a great time to practice quieting your mind and falling into a deep relaxation. Repeating a mantra in your head or even just meditating can help.
As you start to incorporate more naps into your schedule, take note of what works for you and what doesn’t. By practicing the best techniques, you’ll maximize the efficiency of your naps and reap the maximum benefits.
Keep in mind that napping during the day doesn’t do much to make up for a lack of sleep the night before. It simply allows you to feel more energized during the day. Aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night on top of your power nap. That way, you can keep your brain focused and your mind sharp at all hours of the day.
Madeline is the author of the Food, Fitness and Family blog where she writes about yummy eats, sweaty workouts and life as a family of three — soon to be four! She is an Army wife dedicated to finding balance between kale and cake pops while raising her growing family.