How to take a power napWe all know how our children benefit from an after lunch nap, and as busy mums we are probably all guilty of using that precious time to crack on with work or housework.

But research shows that a 20-30 minute power nap after lunch can reduce stress, improve memory & patience, increase learning & efficiency and generally make for a more productive afternoon all round.

It may seem like a criminal waste of time to sleep when you feel you could be getting lots done but if you are lucky enough to have children who still nap, or who are at school, then maybe it is worth trying it for yourself to see if you can feel the benefits.

Experts advise to keep the nap between 15 and 30 minutes, as sleeping longer gets you into deeper stages of sleep, from which it’s more difficult to awaken. Also, longer naps can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night.

So why not take the plunge and become a Lady Who Naps! Simply follow these 10 steps to the perfect nap – and feel the benefits!

  1. The best time to nap is between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm, just after lunch.
  2. Try to avoid large amounts of coffee or caffeine before your nap as this will make it difficult to sleep and to wake up.
  3. Switch off your mobile and put the answerphone on to avoid being disturbed.
  4. Set your alarm to wake you when you have completed 30 minutes of sleep. It is very common to lie down and sleep for a while and end up sleeping for hours!
  5. Set the scene for sleep – make sure the temperature is comfortable, pull the curtains and put some soft music in the background
  6. Try to free up your mind from any thoughts or alternatively focus your thoughts on something you enjoy.
  7. 30 minutes of sleep is enough to relax. If you sleep more, you will end up with a headache and a bad mood.
  8. When you wake up, put some water on your face, drink a class of water and go out in the fresh air for a while. If you feel groggy or disorientated when you wake, sit down and try to relax for 5 minutes before standing up.
  9. If you are not feeling like sleeping then do not try to force your self to sleep – just lay and relax
  10. Do not feel guilty. [viralpullquote]Taking a power nap does not make you lazy – rather it will make you more alert and productive for the rest of the day,[/viralpullquote] and improve both your mental and physical health.

As the mother of 2 toddlers who DON’T nap I can only DREAM of such a luxury……! But if you do decide to become a Lady Who Naps, we’d love to hear your comments about how it made you feel!

For more information about the specific health benefits of napping please see http://www.manageyourlifenow.com/Articles/tabid/60/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/19/15-Proven-Tips-For-The-Perfect-Power-Nap.aspx