Let’s talk a little bit about what it takes to get some sleep. Truth is, I can’t recall a time when I was not an amazing napper.  From the early days, all other mothers would be told:

She is such a good sleeper.

And when I fast forward to the now, sleep comes easily.

The not so great part is this: not getting REM sleep. This is the missing part in all these successful, yet underwhelming missions to rest. Which lead to the inevitable nap the next day.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Don’t you loathe “those people” on planes that can fall asleep as soon as they hit the air?  Or the person on a crowded subway that can get some rest with their heads bobbing around carefree, while unconscious?  I mean, maybe it’s hard-core drugs or narcolepsy taking over. In fact, I have fit into both categories minus the downers or sleep disorder!

So, after some soul-sucking sleep apnea discussions with a specialist, the “issues” were not:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Or any of the more common issues

Turns out it was actually the naps, which were affecting my ability to receive a full night’s sleep.  In hindsight that makes sense, but what about feeling constantly tired? And no, I’m not referring to typical burn-out tired.  What we are really talking about are constant yawns and feeling exhausted.

So, what can you do to get some sleep? Well, the answers were really simple. And the results are a work in progress.

Get some sleep: Amie and friends napping.

I used to struggle with getting enough sleep. And then I learned how to work around it.

All of this seemed absolutely bonkers. Because it’s not as great as a siesta on a rainy, or even a sunny day.

However, it has helped.  Breaking habits always take time.  But I discovered a couple of tricks along the way, which include:

  • Setting timers on my devices to shut down apps. In other words,  I take my blackout times seriously.
  • Eating larger portions at dinner to avoid the temptation to indulge in late night snacking.
  • Turning the alarm clock around to avoid sneak peeks at the time.

Although I can’t say goodbye to naps forever, they are good for us when the body needs to rest and to recharge. But keeping them under an hour, in a responsible controlled nap manner is the way to go.

This post originally appeared on deanblundell.com.