Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Importance of Napping

Set of Three SCRABBLE LETTER decorative pillow cushion covers -- NAP Ready to ship
(photo of NAP pillow covers: counterculturedesign etsy shop)

Napping.  What an incredibly subjective topic.  Yet so important!  I personally can't stand napping.  I'm one of those people who gets really groggy and actually feels worse following a nap than they did before.  If I'm going to snooze for any length of time, give me at least 6 hours!  On the flip side, my own father can actually lay on a couch (a couch!?!), fall asleep for 10 minutes (10 minutes?!!  WTF?!?!) and then wake up feeling like he just bathed in a cool spring full of daisies and lilacs (he's actually never described it as such, but I've seen the pep in his step following his mini siestas, which has led me to believe that my description is accurate.)

My husband, as well, is a fan of the nap.  He is actually having a 5 o'clock vacation nap as I type.  He gets it from his mother who could nap on a deck chair through a hurricane.  Ok, slight exaggeration...she could nap through a tropical storm.  

But really, to me, naps are most important for children and babies.  My eldest was always a great napper, but she is getting to the age where she wants to phase out the naps.  The problem is, she needs to nap.  When rested, she is the world's MOST PLEASANT child.  When she is in need of rest, her stubborn, sullen side comes out.  On our recent trip to the Florida Keys, we didn't keep up with naps, and there were plenty of tears and tantrums by bed time.  Today, I made sure to get back into the napping schedule.  For her sanity, and for my sanity.  For our mutual sanity.

As for the baby, she's napping about 2-3 times a day.  She'll wake up around 8 AM, then nap about 11 AM, for roughly an hour.  She'll then take a mid afternoon nap around 3:00  PM, about the same time that her sister goes down.  Another short nap around 5:30 or 6 PM will keep her in good spirits through bath and bedtime at 8:00 PM.  

Definitely my favourite nap of the day is the afternoon nap, when there's some overlapping quiet time.

When it comes to myself, not only do I feel groggy following a nap, I also feel guilty.  There's something grotesquely decadent about daytime napping to me.  But really, many studies show it is incredibly important for our health and for combating stress.  Maybe I can train myself to nap.  Or maybe I'll nap when I'm older.  

Ah, naps.

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