During the last 3 weeks it has become acutely clear to me the overwhelming value of a nap to a new parent. Not only does a power snooze provide you with the energy needed for overnight nappy changing and calming, it is also a great way to turn off your brain from all things baby focused to ensure that the tsunami of information given to new parents has time to sink in and assimilate.
For this reason I thought I would note down my top 7 tips for how to have the perfect nap.
1. Make sure it is dark – blackout curtains are your friend for grabbing a day time snooze, or failing that try a face mask
2. Set an alarm – you don’t want your nap to be too long, as if you end up going for a quick 30mins and sleeping for four hours you will wake up very confused and have to deal with nap-lag (like jet lag but more so!)
3. Listen to something calming – I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 player, pick something I have heard before (like a comedy show for example) and use this to help me calm down. You could listen to music or even a meditation tape of some sort – just something to help relax your mind.
4. Don’t put any pressure on yourself – don’t go to bed thinking “I must sleep” as that way insomnia lies. My tip is to say to your self you are having a meditate or time out, as even if you don’t actually sleep it will be of great value to refresh your mind
5. When you wake up drink a glass of cold water – at 7 in the evening or whenever you wake, don’t be tempted by a strong coffee. A glass of cold water will refresh you and give you a boost to get back on with thing
6. Make sure you have ticked a few things off your to do list first – it’s far easier to nap knowing you have achieved something, even if it is just something small like putting the washing on.
7. Don’t feel guilty – if you want to nap, do t. Your body is telling you it is over tired. Listen to your body.