Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ode to a Nap

Ah Sleep. That elusive elixir of life. At least for me. I've been blessed by children, who as babies, were rough sleepers. Now that they are older (my youngest just turned 2), and are sleeping better, somehow I'm not. I'm still programmed to wake every couple of hours. I just listen a second and then roll over and try to go back to sleep. Sometimes my 2 year old is crying--he still wakes at least once a night and needs some attention. (and yes, we've tried all of the "help your baby to sleep on his own" tricks. More than once. More than twice. Thanks for thinking of them.) Usually everything is fine, and I am only conscious for a second or two.

Then, however, I am floating in that in-between conscious and sleeping unconscious stage for about 20-30 minutes. Just to go through the same thing again in a couple of hours. It makes for one tired Mama! Today I woke up a little before 6 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I survive by getting a nap. Today will be a nap day.

Things must be just right for me to nap; my baby must also be down for his nap (terrible at night, great during the day--go figure!). I have a little nap corner on the extra bed in our office/scrapbook nook area. I must lay across the bed at a funny angle. I must lay on my right side. I must have a pillow to cover my face. I must have my favorite quilt all cocoon-like around me. My son must have something to do that will occupy him for at least an hour. Then I can nap.

If all is well with the "musts," I can power nap. I can slip into a nearly unconscious state in minutes. Many's the time I have awakened so relaxed I have been in what we call "the drool zone." My DH is adept at reaching the "drool zone"--not so much for me. I try to only nap for 30-45 minutes. More than that and I am still funky-tired and irritable. If anything wakes me up before the requisite 30 minutes--the phone, a child needing attention, etc., then the nap is lost to me and I and everyone around me just have to suck it up and deal.

Nothing quite matches the euphoria of waking up from a good nap. I feel more like a person. I remember myself better. I am more balanced. Naps are essential for my well-being.

Today is a Nap Day. And that's the other side.

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