Why is it that some kids despise — and sometimes even refuse — naps? Do they feel like they’re missing out on playtime? Are they afraid no one will ever get them out of baby jail?
My first son was a terrible napper and sleeper overall. He hated nap time. He would scream, cry, and climb his way to freedom long before he should have dropped the nap. Up until recently, my 2-year-old son adored nap time. He would ask to go to sleep and lay in his crib for hours. He was so content in a dark room with his blankie and white noise machine — we’re talking three or four hours sometimes. When he awoke, he’d happily just roll around and hang out in his crib for a bit. As he’s about to turn 3, his naps are more sporadic.
The problem with him napping less often is that I no longer get my naps. I am a faithful two- or three-nap-a-week mama. I am anemic and iron deficient and sometimes a midday snooze is physically necessary. And even when they aren’t, my family and friends know that if it’s Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and we aren’t at the soccer fields, I won’t be texting back or making plans because chances are, I’m snoozing. It’s what I do, and I’m not ashamed! I basically get in bed the minute my little gets in bed. I take a lot longer to finally doze off than he does, and then when he wakes up, I wake up. We have the perfect little system.
I wake up refreshed (most of the time), less tired, more relaxed, in a better mood, and ready to take on the rest of the day and night. On days I don’t nap, I count the hours until I’m snuggled into my bed which is usually around 9 p.m. — no late nights for this mama.
Tips for Taking Adult Naps
Napping isn’t for everyone. Some people say napping makes them more tired and can prevent them from falling asleep later that night. Yes, napping at the wrong time of day or for too long might be counterintuitive to your sleep habits. Mayo Clinic offers some helpful DOs and DON’Ts if you’re considering a midday snooze:
- Keep naps short — we’re talking 10 to 20 minutes. The longer you sleep, the more likely you are to feel groggy afterward. However, young adults may be okay to handle a longer timeframe.
- Take them in the early afternoon. Snoozing after 3 p.m. can contribute to poor sleep at nighttime. Certain factors such as a need for sleep, sleeping schedule, age, and medication use can also play a role in determining the best time of day to nap.
- Create a restful environment. Opt for a quiet, dark place with a comfortable room temperature and minimal distractions for your nap. When finished, give yourself time to wake up before resuming any activities, particularly those that require a sharp response.
I always tell my kids, one day, when you are older, you will appreciate napping. My 10-year-old laughs at me. I can’t remember the last time he took a nap — he has endless energy. Just watching him makes me tired and has me looking forward to my next nap.
Do you take regular adult naps? What’s your nap strategy?