Monday 20 September 2010

The art of the power nap

An indispensable weapon in the armoury of any parent is the Power Nap, defined by wiktionary as "A short sleep taken in the daytime in order to refresh a person and generally terminated before deep sleep begins so as not to leave the sleeper drowsy." I credit my transition to motherhood as having been the driving force behind my learning this skill. The actual encouragement (=NAGGING!) came from my husband. When Ads was born, S took over the responsibility of putting him down for his naps. It was understood that if S was at home, then it was his job to put Ads to sleep. It didn't matter how busy he was, or even if he was working; because what used to take the rest of us atleast half an hour, would take him 5 minutes, no more. He would literally saunter out of the bedroom after putting Ads to sleep, raise a supercilious eyebrow at us lesser mortals who could not accomplish this laughably easy task, and go back to whatever he was doing. Sometimes, if he was tired and had nothing better to do, he would just place Ads on his chest and both father and son would snooze for a bit. S would get up after 20 minutes, fresh as a daisy. He would keep telling sleep-deprived me to take a nap too. I would excuse myself, saying I'm too busy, I'm working, I don't have the time etc etc and S would say: "Oh but you DON'T need the time, it's just 20 minutes!". The thing is, if I went to sleep, I'd pass out for a minimum of 1 hour and I could never understand how it was possible to wake up in 20 minutes and still not have a heavy head and an irritated mood.
Anyway to cut a long story short, S nagged me so much after Y was born that I decided to give it a shot. It changed my life. I know, sounds too dramatic; but believe me, a nap in the afternoon makes such a difference to my day. It alters my entire outlook. I feel refreshed, more active, infinitely energized. I know I can stay up late at night and hit the books and not be all bleary-eyed and drowsy. And it only takes 15-20 minutes. 
I told a new mommy the other day to start taking power-naps. It's a killer app, like the ability to clean, lubricate and diaper a wriggly baby's bottom in 10 seconds flat. Now that's matter for another post :))


  1. Hi

    can u tell me how its possible. yep i know it will be very refreshing. But the problem is that i simply am not able to get up after 15-20 min. it stretches & only after 2hrs im even able to open my eyes, that too with too... much difficulty. if possible, share the secret of getting up within the time limit. would really help me a lot. G3

  2. Hi G3, thanks for stopping by! This is what I do:
    1. set an alarm - start with 30 mins, then u can reduce to 20 min.
    2. Lie down in a quiet dark room and focus on trying to sleep as soon as possible and think of how refreshed u will be when u get up. White noise helps - a fan is good.
    3. Just relax and drift off. Don't open ur eyes.
    4. Don't get under a blanket - if you are too cozy you won't get up in the allotted time!
    5. When the alarm rings, wake up - no extensions. You have to train your body to wake up in that time.
    I started with an alarm but now I find my body clock wakes me up in 20 mins. I'm sure u can do it too. Good luck!

  3. Hi Aparna,

    Didn't find any contact details on your blog that is why had to adopt to 'commenting'

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    To announce the launch, we are organizing a party on the 25th Sept and inviting popular Mommy Bloggers.

    Please mail me your contact details so that I can send you the official invite for the same.



  4. Hi Aparna,
    Totally agree with you on the power nap! Wonderful energy booster!! :)

  5. Hi Shubhashree...aah...another aficionado:) Welcome!


I would love to hear your thoughts :)