When I was a kid, my dad used to stretch out on the sofa after supper.
For his job he often drove all over the state, sometimes working long days. Irregular hours were a part of his life.
When he was home he’d often fall asleep during the news, waking when it ended or shortly thereafter. It became so frequent we lovingly called it his “Nightly News Nap.”
He’d catch up on the sleep he might have missed the day before, and awaken refreshed. Ready to tackle the evening’s activities.
And you know what?
Dad was right.
Research shows that drivers who get less than 6 hours of sleep are 3 times more likely to have a car accident.
One of the recommendations to prevent this is a power nap.
What’s a power nap?
It’s a nap lasting about 20 minutes, usually in the afternoon.
How can power naps reduce caregiver stress?
Research shows power naps . . .
- Increase alertness . . .
- Reduce stress and . . .
- Improve your brain functioning.
Power naps increase your alertness so you can stay on top of everything.
When you’re a caregiver you often have your caregiver responsibilities on top of your regular responsibilities.
And in caregiving it’s important to be alert for subtle changes.
Your loved one may forget to tell you something important. Or maybe she can no longer tell you she doesn’t feel well, she just loses her appetite or gets more irritable.
Whether you’re keeping track of multiple medications . . .multiple appointments . . .eating habits . . .or all three plus more — you need to be alert.
Power naps also reduce your stress.
Caregiver stress is a major risk of caregiving.
And one cause of increased caregiver stress may be fatigue from being up at night. Maybe you’re caring for someone who doesn’t sleep well . . .or maybe just wakeful because you’re on alert listening for them.
Studies show that by mid-afternoon it’s normal to need a brief nap. And if the person you’re caring for is napping or has another person caring for them, it may be the perfect time for you to grab a quick nap.
When you’re tired it’s easier to lose your patience. And if you’re losing your patience for your family or the one you’re caring for, you may also have guilt for losing your patience.
Which creates a vicious cycle of exhaustion . . .anger . . .and guilt. All of which added together increase your caregiver stress.
And power naps can decrease stress helping you break that cycle.
Power naps can improve your brain functioning.
When you’re thinking clearly you can make better decisions . . .including knowing when to seek help.
Plus it’s easier to keep on top of your responsibilities . . .finances . . .and everything you need to do.
When you’re feeling stressed and tired from lack of sleep at night, maybe a power nap is your solution.
Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed?
Click on this link to see how to easily and quickly Overcome the 3 Deadly Mistakes That Cause Stress, Overwhelm and Burnout.
Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,
Ina Gilmore M.D. (ret.)
“The Knitting Dr.”
Ambassador of Elder Care, HowToLiveOnPurpose.com
Founder, CaregivingWithPurpose.com and TheKnittingYarn.com
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider. This site does not advocate medical or other health-related self-care, and encourages you to obtain advice from your own personal physician or other health care provider.
This web site is not intended to replace medical, financial, legal, or any other professional advice. Please use your own good judgment and consult with your own professionals before applying any ideas found within this website.