Sleep Deeper: The Importance of the Power Nap

20 minutes could change your life!

By Jenny Steadman July 12, 2013
"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap."
- Carrie P. Snow

We lose a lot of sleep as parents. Raise your hand if it is not your top priority. Yup, thought so. Me, too, even though I know better! We work so hard and spend so much time and energy making sure our kids are well-rested. We wonder, are they on the right sleep schedule? Do they still need a nap (or two)? Are they going to bed early enough? How can I get them to sleep through the night? We would all feel so much better! But what about us? We know that sleep is important for their growth, development and health, but what about our health?

It turns out that sleep is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself healthy. Last month I was invited to stay at the Lodge at Woodloch and I took some great fitness classes (you can read about Wall Yoga here) and one of them was called Power Napping. The brochure describes the class as:

"With the help of props and pillows, you will be guided through a series of gentle stretches to promote total relaxation and rest. You’ll leave feeling rejuvenated and revitalized."

I had no idea what to expect. 

For 50 minutes we were guided through a meditation that relaxed our bodies so deeply that we all fell asleep and woke up completely rejuvenated. After the class, I had a chance to speak with the instructor, Maryann, about the importance of sleep and meditation. She provided me with some wonderful information that I would like to share with you.

When I think of a "power nap," I think about the 15-20 minutes of shut eye I may get while the kids are playing. You may think that this is just to help you get through the day but it does so much more! With a 20-minute power nap you reap these benefits:

  • Increases alertness and stamina
  • Increases motor learning and performance
  • Improves muscle memory
  • Reduces stress
  • Increases productivity
  • Clears the brain
  • Helps with long-term memory
  • Helps get you motivated to exercise
  • Makes up for lost sleep at night

So, the next time you are feeling guilty for sneaking in that cat nap in the middle of the day, know that it isn't selfish. It is beneficial to you and your family!