Friday, September 9, 2011
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Napping (For YOU, not your baby!) Part 2.
In a study of napping patterns of new mothers, opportunity was significantly related to whether or not the mothers took naps. Moms who had more children and/or worked more took fewer naps (obviously!)(Cottrell 2002) Yes, it’s hard to find time to nap, and yes, you have a thousand other things to do while your child is sleeping. However, incorporating a short nap into your day may drastically improve your ability to function when your nighttime sleep is fragmented. Involve your support people in caring for your other children or taking over a few of your chores so that you have opportunities to rest or nap, especially in your baby’s first 6 weeks, or whenever your baby’s sleep patterns are especially challenging for you. If you can’t fall asleep, even resting for a short period can help you feel better. One study found that 1 hour of resting, even without sleep, improved mood (Note: this study did not include people who were recently sleep deprived). (Daiss et al.1986)
Tips for Napping
To get the most out of a "power nap," follow these tips paraphrased from sleep expert Sara C. Mednick, PhD: assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.
Cottrell L, Hildebrandt Karraker K. Correlates of nap taking in mothers of young infants. J. Sleep Res. 2002; 11: 209–212.
Milner CE, Cote KA. Benefits of napping in healthy adults: impact of nap length, time of day, age, and experience with napping. Journal of Sleep Research. 2009;18 (2):272–281.