As moms, we often neglect ourselves. We are so busy taking care of others that we end up chronically fatigued. This is, unfortunately, a fact of life for new moms. But you don’t have to accept it. Instead, learn the art of taking a disco nap to restore your energy.
A disco nap is exactly like a power nap. It’s basically a brief nap that you take during the day before you go out for a night of partying. In the case of a new mom, you’re resting before a night of waking up to feed your baby.
Almost all sleep research finds that humans need eight hours of sleep every night. Though most humans get approximately six, a full eight hours can be crucial to the continued restoration of healthy organs and brain function.
A lack of sleep can result in embarrassing or even dangerous consequences. Basically, if you are chronically fatigued, try to get more rest. Below are several helpful tips to help you do just that.
Do Disco Naps Work?
Power naps/ disco naps can be very effective in restarting a day that started much too early.
Nothing can replace a proper night’s rest, but when you are responsible for little humans who do not sleep through the night, you’ve got to take what you can get.
Not only can disco naps help you rest physically, but they also offer an important mental and emotional break.
Short breaks like these can help you process the events of the day and reestablish the alignment of your head and heart. In other words, taking power naps is your second (or, let’s be honest, third or fourth) chance at getting up on the right side of the bed.
How Long to Take A Disco Nap?
The optimal length of a disco nap is 20-30 minutes, but it can vary.
- 20-30 minutes – this is the perfect amount of time to enhance alertness and concentration and sharpen your motor skills;
- 10-15 minutes – this is good for improved focus and productivity;
- 40-60 minutes – this has been proven to boost brain power, memory, and learning.
Our bodies experience sleep through cycles. Each cycle lasts roughly twenty minutes. If we are woken up before completing a full cycle, it can disrupt our natural patterns and leave us feeling more tired than when we started. This is why most experts recommend twenty-minute naps.
If your baby allows you to sleep longer than twenty minutes, why not? As long as you try to sleep in twenty-minute increments, you can wake up feeling rested.
How To Disco Nap Like A Mother
Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
For first-time moms, this simple trick is a lifesaver.
There are going to be days when your baby seems determined to prove that he/she does not need sleep. Ignore it—babies need to sleep. By not sleeping, they get cranky and fussy. (Over-tired babies become fussy, and fussy babies are harder to get to sleep.)
Granted, sleeping when your baby sleeps becomes more difficult when you start adding more children into the mix. If you do have a toddler, try your best to get them to nap at the same time. Put down the laundry, the dishes can wait. Work email will have to wait too. Once your baby is sleeping soundly, take care of yourself and take that disco nap.
Start Where You Are
If life was perfect in every way, the opportunity to nap would always come at the ideal time and place. If you are not in a place where you can comfortably sleep, try at least to rest.
You may be amazed—if you’re chronically fatigued, you may be able to fall asleep anywhere.
Learn To Slow Down Quickly
The best way to wind down quickly is to start by taking 3-6 deep cleansing breaths.
Cleansing breaths helps to slow down your heart rate and signal your body and mind to transition into an attitude of rest.
Disco nap time is not the time to think about the list of things you need to do today. Thinking about your to-do list will only increase your stress levels and suck away time that you could have spent in the blissful glow of sleep.
Obey The Air Mask Theory
If you’ve been on an airplane, you’ll know that in case of emergency, you have to put your own air mask on before helping the person next to you? The same rule holds true for new moms. You need to sleep. If you don’t sleep, you can’t effectively take care of your baby.
Once your baby is taken care of, don’t feel guilty about taking a power nap—just do it.
Turn Off Your Phone
Scrolling through your favorite social media feeds can be very satisfying, but don’t give in to that temptation. Staring into a screen does not relax you enough to let you lull into sleep. Instead, it is guaranteed to keep you awake. Also, social media is likely to remind you of things you need to do or things you want, thereby getting you more wound up.
But even if social media is not a crutch for you, turn off your phone anyway. The last thing you want is to get a spam call or some random text (from someone you might not even know,) to wake you out of your slumber.
You can’t afford to lose precious sleep to a rookie mistake like that.
If You Need Help, Ask For Help
If you’re exhausted and you cannot wait till your baby’s nap time, ask for help.
If there is another mom in your neighborhood who can watch your baby for an hour, ask her for help. Next week, you can return the favor by watching her baby.
Block Out The Light
Blocking out light helps you fall asleep faster.
If you have room darkening shades or curtains, close them. If you don’t have them, invest in a decent eye mask to darken your room. If you absolutely need some light, experts recommend soft light.
Get And Stay Warm
You are almost guaranteed to sleep peacefully if you are warm. Your body temperature is likely to drop while you sleep, so keep a blanket nearby in case you need it.
Note From The Author
I have five kids. I breastfed them all, and none of them slept through the night until after their first birthdays. In other words, I know what chronic fatigue feels like.
I strongly suggest these power naps. For your sanity, try to fit them in whenever and wherever you can. I remember many a day waking up on the carpet after I laid down to play with the baby, (never having planned to take a nap). It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t comfortable. It was rest, and it helped me to keep going.
I realize it is very rough, it is difficult. But like me, you’re going to smile about it later, and wonder how you got through it.
I wish you strength… and sleep.