When it comes to tactical advice for napping as a parent, I wish it could be more cut-and-dry.
There isn’t really one thing that can be done to help with the logistics of napping when you’ve got kids running around.
Hopefully you’ve got bannisters on your staircase and they’ll keep away from fighting for 20 minutes so you can steal some shut-eye time.
Sometimes, it’s hard just to step away to go to the bathroom by yourself as a parent.
But here’s the thing: as much as we will do anything for our kids to help them thrive, we need to be taking care of ourselves as well.
Because if something happens to you, then we’re definitely in big trouble for the kid-raising department.
So, let’s say you figure out how you can carve out 20 minutes during the day to sleep. Do quick “micro-naps” even help with anything?
Napping for parents: What does it really help with?
Before we dive into micro-naps, specifically, let’s talk about napping in general.
I go into the different types of napping benefits, based on time spent asleep, in this article. If you want the full download on the “best” ways to nap, check it out.
Here’s the highlight reel…
The major health benefits of include:
- Restored mental clarity
- Improved creativity
- Physical repair
- Improved executive function in the brain
…yeah, I think anyone who’s got a kid would greatly appreciate any and all of the above.
While it might be hard (or impossible) to step away from mom or dad duty for a full 2 hours to get all of these benefits, we can’t knock away short naps as a viable option to support your health.
Heck, if you can figure out multiple short nap windows throughout the day, they really can add up.
So, are short naps helpful? Do they even matter?
YES. Short “micro-naps” as I call them can be extremely beneficial for a few things.
Even as little as 15 minutes of napping can significantly increase your creativity, mental clarity, and mental drive.
Focus can significantly improve, even from a short nap.
They can also help you to regain your emotional stability, which would lead to more presence for you to have with your child.
And as parents…we need all the help we can get in that department.
Can naps help make up for lost sleep at night?
YES, napping can help to mitigate some of the negative effects of sleep deprivation if you’re not getting those solid 8 hours each night.
Just like you can’t be financially healthy by spending more than you make, you can’t keep running on sleep deprivation each night without health downturns coming as a result.
Of course, in a perfect world, we’re all getting that 8 hours of sleep at once during our “nighttime sleep” or our main block of sleep, if you’re a shift worker.
But napping does help you to chip away at that sleep debt and cull away the downsides of sleep deprivation.
In fact – this was a tool that I used when I was working with the Navy SEALS to help their performance and health improve.
If a guy wasn’t needed for 20 minutes during a certain drill, I told the commanders to let him go sleep in the corner.
Finding little areas in your day where you can do that exact strategy can make big shifts in your mental and physical capacity to perform as a parent and everything else you’re handling.
We have a Sleep Remedy Kids supplement coming soon, too.
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