Once upon a time, not too long ago, you were fresh, energetic and exuberant. You had time for shopping, spas, long bubble baths and most importantly, sleep! Yes, sleep. Something that one might imagine to be a basic human right yet something almost all mums are terribly deprived of. While seven hours of undisturbed sleep is something that’s going to remain a far off thought for some time, naps can help you to get by. So here are 5 napping tips for mums.
If you’re a tired mum, don’t underestimate the power of napping. Naps are actually restorative sleeps and you should catch them as and when you can.
1. Timing is everything
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Of course, newborns are completely unpredictable and there’s no way that you can possibly schedule your nap. But among the napping tips for tired mums, one important point is that you should time your naps. This is important because napping for too long or too short a span of time may be counterproductive.
Ideally, naps should either be 20 to 30 minutes or 1.5 hours long.
And these timings serve different purposes. A shorter nap is great to boost your energy levels and make you more alert while longer naps should be kept for recovery if you had a terrible night and hardly managed to get any sleep.
Now take heed – if you sleep between 30 to 90 minutes, chances are that you will wake up feeling groggy and even more tired because that way, you won’t’ be getting a complete sleep cycle.
Now, mums, I know what you must be thinking. How on earth do you time your naps when half the time you are clueless when you actually fall asleep?
Well, napping tips for mums include ‘scheduling’. So an easy way to go about it would be to ‘schedule’ your naps, like when the baby is sleeping, or when you have just expressed your milk and delegated the next feed to someone else. Schedule it, time it and squeeze a power nap in!
2. Create optimal conditions for sleep
The fist problem mums face is that they are sleep-deprived. The second problem they face is not being able to sleep when they actually get a chance to sleep. So how do we solve this problem? When you want to catch 40 winks during the day, you need to mimic the environment that you regularly sleep in, which is likely to be your nighttime sleep conditions.
Napping tips for mums would be to take off those contact lenses (actually, why bother wearing them at home?), change into your jammies, turn on the air conditioner and draw those black-out curtains.
If that’s still not enough, put on an eye-mask.
Again, you might wonder how you get all this done when the time to nap in itself is scarce. It comes with practice and trust me, when you become a mother, you start acquiring this superpower to do everything at breakneck speed. You’ll get the hang of it!
3. Wind down mama
Mums have way too many things going on in their heads and that’s why half the time, they can’t fall asleep even at night. Naptime is no exception for how do you expect to fall asleep, what more fall asleep quickly when you are so wound up with everything you have to do and catch up on.
Napping tips for tired mums are to ignore the laundry and cleaning up for a bit. The same way that you add all of these to your to-do list, make nap time an agenda on your to-do list as well. That way, you won’t feel so guilty about taking a nap.
Other ways that can help you to wind down include a little bit of meditation, drink some chamomile tea or listen to soothing music.
4. Accumulate sleep credits
Look at sleep as you would look at the money that you earned. What can you do with the money? You can save it or you can burn it. Likewise, you can accumulate ‘sleep credits’ by getting extra sleep when you can. Meaning to say, if you can’t get a proper full night’s rest, take every possible opportunity to get some theory into your ‘sleep bank’. Even a short midday nap works.
This will help your body to function well even after a night of not sleeping well.
5. Do what you must, but be smart about it
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So this isn’t exactly part of napping tips for mums, but more like what you can do if sleeping or napping isn’t exactly an option. We always wish for it to be but there are days when it just doesn’t happen. Wake yourself up to an energising body wash or grab an extra cup of coffee if it helps.
But do remember that you can’t just keep drinking coffee all day long for then you probably won’t sleep well that night and the next morning won’t be any better. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Limit your caffeine intake so that the caffeine boost works when you really need it!
We hope you find these napping tips for mums useful. Being a mum is exhausting and it feels impossible at times but hang in there mamas, this stage goes by in the blink of an eye and before you know it, you can get all the sleep you want!