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Endorsement: The Mom Nap

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Photo Via Time

We all get why our young kids need to take naps—resting and recharging after a few hours of play is essential, and they are terrors without them. We’d also argue that the same can be said for mothers. Parenting is an exhausting job, one in which all of the muscles in your body and mind seem to be engaged the moment your child is around. It can be draining in a way that only other mothers truly understand. Which is why we think sneaking in a mom nap when possible can be absolutely transformative.

Of course, when you’ve got a to-do list that’s a mile long and a mess or five you’d like to tidy up, closing your eyes (while your child closes his eyes) might not always be your top priority, and can make you feel a little guilty for even considering. But research has shown that even 5-15 minutes of shuteye can result in immediate improved cognitive performance, increased alertness, better mood and memory, a decrease in mistakes and accidents, and all of that good stuff. And while a 30-minute-plus nap might make you groggy upon awakening, after you shake off the sleepies, you’ll be more alert and function better for hours. (The Mayo Clinic advises shooting for a 10-30 minute nap to curb the grogginess and disruption to night sleep.)

Personally, we think the Spanish (and dozens of other cultures) might have it right, with their midday “siesta” break, which hasn’t exactly caught on in the perpetually busy U.S. What about you mamas? Are mom naps an essential part of your parenting downtime? And, if so, do you feel any guilt around taking them?

For more benefits and tips on adult naps (including a list of famous nappers, from JFK to Einstein), check out this piece from The National Sleep Foundation.

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