Caregiver Power Nap

6 Great Ways to Nap -- and Wake up Refreshed
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Sleep deprivation is a special risk for caregivers. Napping can help you recharge your brain and body. These napping tricks can help:

  1. Time it right.
    After lunch is a good nap time for most people because it meshes with your natural circadian rhythms. Some of your deepest sleep comes between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., and you're naturally sleepy again 12 hours later.

  2. Take a driveway nap.
    Sounds crazy, but when you have time off for errands because someone else is with your loved one, don't rush back into the house afterward. If you need some sleep, pull into the driveway and catch some shut-eye for ten minutes right there.

  3. Try "co-napping."
    If your loved one naps during the day, resist the urge to get a million other things done -- try to catnap yourself at the same time. If the person in your care isn't a napper, try setting up a reclining chair in his or her room so that you can be together while, say, watching TV -- but you can also nod off for a spell.

  4. Use a timer.
    Experienced power-nappers can rouse themselves after just 10 or 15 minutes, but you may need the help of an alarm. The ideal nap is less than 20 minutes long -- sleep longer and you may awaken groggy and disoriented, and find that your nighttime sleep is affected. When the alarm goes off, resist the urge to drowse; get up right away.

  5. Take a "caffeine nap."
    Drink a cup of caffeinated coffee, then take a 15-minute nap immediately after. It sounds backward, but research shows that this particular combination makes you feel more alert and recharged than if you just drank the coffee, or just napped for 15 to 30 minutes. Called a "caffeine nap," it gives you the refreshing effects of sleep plus a jolt of caffeine, which kicks in just as you're waking up.

  6. Use sleep cues.
    Some sleep experts advise against napping in your bed, because it signals you to fall into a longer, deeper sleep than you need for napping. But it's still a good idea to use other sleep cues: a darkened room, quiet (turn off the TV if you can), and a blanket to lull your body to a cozy sleep temperature.

Image by Flickr user cjc4454 under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licensing agreement.


over 3 years ago, said...

all but mostly caffeine nap;)


over 3 years ago, said...

The fact is, surely, when you feel tired, concentration a battle, eyes want to pull down the blinds, etc. the body, your system is getting that message across: do it. As best you can, where you can, just do it & let it come to you. The same body, system knows when its had its recharge, up you get, press on with the tasks in hand. Surely no one knows what are the side benefits, there are probably plenty, but the first benefit is that of inner refreshment. If you are eating wisely, looking after yourself as best you can, no doubt other benefits fall into place without any fuss!


over 3 years ago, said...

Didn't know about the caffeine nap.


almost 4 years ago, said...

Specific timing and locations of naps, as well as information on the "caffeine nap" helped me craft useable naptimes.


almost 5 years ago, said...

Kathleenapdx - get your Mom a large alarm clock that has the red or green numbers that are lit all night. This way she won't need a flashlight to check the time. Tell her batteries cost more than electricity..... Good luck!


almost 5 years ago, said...

The "caffeine nap" really appeals to me. Can't wait to try it.


almost 5 years ago, said...

It goes along with my ideas. I really need a nap most days, tho I don't always get the chance. I have been setting my alarm for just over an hour.


almost 5 years ago, said...

I find that I need a nap between 3 to 4 in the afternoon. After I nap I make dinner and have energy all evening.


almost 5 years ago, said...

My 95 year old mom won.t sleep at night. She has 3 flashlights in bed with her and checks the time constantly. I tried taking them away and another time hiding them before putting her to bed but she just cries hard and begs so I give in. It's easier. She has several lamps within reach in her room but refuses to use them as "electricity costs so much". I have a babymonitor set up in her room and mine and she has me up a half dozen times each night. When I get her up in the morning, after breakfast, she falls asleep for 4 straight hours in her LZ Boy. That's when I get in MY LZ Boy, and join her!


almost 5 years ago, said...

Look forward to trying the caffein nap!


almost 5 years ago, said...

the cafe and nap bit


almost 5 years ago, said...

my mother take naps each day at the moment her head hit the pillow she waws gone allarm clock weak up she enjoy a cup of coffée nerver look tierd lucky lucky


almost 5 years ago, said...

When my father was alive, in between running to the nursing home, caring for my son and work, I'd take my son to the movies and nap there. I called it my $6.00 nap. Embarrassing for him? Probably..but it worked for me.


almost 5 years ago, said...

I Agree... and I thought I was the only one on the Planet that coffee put me to sleep still


almost 5 years ago, said...

Caffeine naps are great...sometimes I get up earlier than I want. have coffee with my husband and ZAP! I'm back to sleep in the recliner. lol No one believe me when I tell them hot coffee puts me to sleep.


almost 5 years ago, said...

I work out of my home so napping is little easier for me. I do not know, why but I get a better & quicker nap, if I just take my shoes off and lay down in the bed with my clothes on rather than changing to pajama's etc, etc. I usually shoot for at least an hour and use an alarm. Anything less than 60 minutes, I find myself constantly checking the clock to see if my time is up


almost 5 years ago, said...

The caffeine nap sounds like it might work, but around my place, even with a sign on the door telling people I am napping, they come anyway and make enough noise calling out to rouse the dead. Boneheads!


almost 5 years ago, said...

Sometime when office stress gets to high I go to the back seat in my truck and take a np for lunch instead of eating . When I go back to work it is with a different outlook. Love Lunchtime Naps


almost 5 years ago, said...

it's really helpful for someone like who works 11 hours a day. After lunch lunch time i always need taking a nap.


almost 5 years ago, said...

I found the caffeine nap idea intriguing and plan to use it today.


almost 5 years ago, said...

My mom, 96, gets up 3 to 5 times a night to use the commode and I get up to help her. If I do not get adequate rest myself it is more difficult to cope and be patient with the elderly.