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Notorious, power nap trap.

After a long day and an even longer week of very little sleep, my insomnia wreaked absolute havoc on my mind and body. It is Friday night, there is no specific time to wake up tomorrow, so even if I manage to only fall asleep at 2 am, it means that I should possibly be able to get some sleep tonight.

Because I sleep my best between 3am and 7am, I remain cautiously optimistic. There is no need to get up early so even if it is just an extra hour of sleep, I would be so grateful.

Nighttime routine with insomnia

The routine is the same as always. I love routine and I like to think I can bamboozle my body into sleeping with routine. Alas, it is also very helpful for my young child who also struggles with sleep. Once we have done what we need to, we slip into bed and have our debrief session from the day. This has been our ritual for the longest time. Over a cup of sleepy tea, we run over the day's events and discuss any bothersome issues she has.

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It helps us both clear our minds and settle for sleep time. While this proves quite effective for my daughter, it is not yet as useful to me. Next is a guided meditation, which is my favorite tool. It often helps both of us drift off. I switch on a timer and we settle down for some deep breathing and visualizations.

I have, however, skipped the part of my routine where I let her sleep and go have my shower and put myself to sleep. No matter sleep is here, so I will take what my body and mind so desperately crave.

Drifting off to sleep

Before long my daughter has started drifting off and I can see the sleeping man coming to do his bidding. The sheer relief of watching her drift off, along with the sleepy tea magic and the guided meditation. Soon I felt myself drifting off little by little and the excitement of the possible impending sleep settles in my being like a warm hug and sleep soon followed.

I wake up feeling like I have slept and I am rested and my daughter sleeps quietly beside me. That is when I noticed that it was still dark out, like really dark. Checking the time, I have indeed only been asleep for a total of 45 minutes. One whole power nap.

The problem with this specific nap is that it is just before sleep and now I am wide awake and sleep is nowhere to be found.  So I lay around and toss and turn. From experience, I know that this will not get me anywhere. It is soon 4:30 am before I am able to drift off again.

Tips for dealing with power naps during the night:

  • Do not fall asleep when putting a child to sleep. This is where I fall asleep most often and most unexpectedly. This includes sitting up while you read to them, otherwise I will read myself to sleep.
  • Do not mess with the bedtime routine, even when I am extra tired.  Breaking from my routine is one of the more common causes of falling into a power nap trap.
  • If I have that power nap, I need to get up and remake my bed, reset my room, and go keep busy. Tossing and turning only makes it worse and I get grumpy in the process.
  • If I fall into a nap trap, I get up to get some things done, read a book, or hang my laundry and prepare what I can for the next day.
  • When you are ready to sleep again, restart the whole process from the beginning, get yourself ready and try to get some sleep.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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