Sleep issues run in my family. My mother was the epitome of poor sleeping habits. But I did learn how little sleep you could survive on if you learned how to nap. As a young adult I actually slept really well. I was sleeping so well I decided it would be fun to have a baby. 3 of my 4 children didn’t sleep through the night until after a year old. The lack of sleep was so entertaining I decided I would also become a midwife. As a midwife I on average lost 2 nights per month of sleep that was never made up. Even if I was up all night I would usually just catch a 2 hour nap sometime during the next day. Every time my phone buzzed or beeped in the middle of the night I would have an adrenaline push, someone was having a baby, or not! The good news through all of this sleep deprivation is I learned how to nap. Really really nap. Not a mid-day multi hour sleep, but a 20 minute power nap that left you energized and ready to keep functioning. With my methods and the right tools I can nap about anywhere. Busy places, airplanes, even with a laboring mother in the room. I could nap like a boss.
1- Sounds obvious but let people know you are napping. Threaten the children. Lock the door. Turn off your phone (not just silence).
2- Kick all animals out of your bedroom. I know it is so nice to cuddle with your kitty until they decide it is bath time and your bed won’t stop jiggling.
3- Stay off the computer or phone. No phone! I mean it.
4-Wear ear plugs. The soft, mold-able, silicone type. They really are worth their weight in gold.
5- If you can’t do earplugs try earbuds while listening to www.rainymood.com . You don’t know about rainy mood? Well now you do, you are welcome.
6- Put on PJ’s. Sounds arduous I know but it makes such a difference to your brain. I mean how long does it take to redress. 3 minutes? If you can’t change at least take off your bra.
7- If it isn’t happening do a progressive relaxation. Tightening each muscle in each body part one at a time then releasing it.
9- If you fall asleep at any time and then wake up, even if it has been 10 minutes, it counts. DON’T GO BACK TO SLEEP. Fight the urge. This natural awakening is the difference between a revitalizing nap, and an energy and afternoon time sucker. Get up and quit whining. So you didn’t nap like a boss today, don’t give up. Do another power nap tomorrow you will get better. I promise.
P.S. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, you must cut the naps. It doesn’t matter how tired you are. Trust me on this.