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Brighter Days: 3 Top Tips for Napping

Jennifer Bright on

I personally could use a nap right now -- and my sons are 13, 14, 15 and 16. So I KNOW moms of little ones could really use a nap.

During the first six weeks after her baby's birth, the average new mom spends 20% more of her day awake than she did before her baby was born. If you're so tired that the only thing keeping you awake is lots of strong coffee, take a cue from your baby, and catch a nap. Naps are a great way to catch up on lost sleep. Here are some of the many benefits of naps.

-- Moms who nap along with their babies might be less likely to suffer postpartum depression.

-- Moms who nap are more likely to have babies who nap, because newborns tend to adopt their mothers' circadian sleep rhythms.

-- Napping can make being a mom a little easier. Sleep deprivation can hinder a mother's ability to care for her infant because her judgment and concentration decline.

-- Naps might help new moms lose their pregnancy weight. Lack of sleep produces changes in appetite-regulating hormones, which tend to make you feel hungrier in general and less satisfied after you do eat. Studies show that with less sleep, we tend to increase our caloric intake.

 

-- Babies who nap during the day are more likely to exhibit an advanced level of learning, and the same is true for new moms.

-- Napping improves memory and performance on new tasks, and there are plenty of those for new moms to learn. As it turns out, taking a short siesta helps "engrave" new information into the long-term memory.

-- Taking a midday snooze along with your baby can boost mood, memory, reaction time and alertness, especially when you're sleep deprived.

-- Naps are good for your heart. Studies show that napping might lower the risk of death due to heart disease by more than a third.

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