With my latest slide of abilities, one of my first strategies is daily SCHEDULED nap.
As we age, our REM sleep is impacted, according to American Family Physicians (1999 May issue, chart above comparing sleep patterns for younger adults in comparison to older adults, and link below). Addiitonally, my research shows the brain’s hypothalamus is likely to become impaired with many types of dementia, causing more sleep problems. So it makes sense to supplement — as long as we can avoid impairing night-time sleep.
I extended my ability to continue employment by probably close to a year, thru daily lunch-time “power nap”. When i was no longer able to keep up at work and releaved of my duties, i mostly quit napping except when ill or with strong meds. Now my brain hits a wall about 8hrs into my day — so now began fore-stalling that wall by daily nap at about 4-6 hrs after i wake at 6am. Then bed-time slow-down and routine for conditioning to sleep begins about 14hrs after first waking, with lights-out at 10pm (16hrs after i woke in the morning).
WebMD, which is recommended by several in my medical team, says ”
The length of your nap and the type of sleep you get help determine the brain-boosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap — sometimes called the stage 2 nap — is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano. What happens if you nap for more than 20 minutes? Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep — napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes — is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions. Getting rapid eye movement or REM sleep, usually 60 to 90 minutes of napping, plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.
Here are some factors i keep in mind BEFORE i lay down for nap:
Turn sound off for Phone, and put rubber band on phoneto remind for turning sound back on.
Send text message to husband/care-partner, letting him know the phone will be off for nap (so he doesnt get concerned).
Light snack immediately before nap, to insure no blood sugar issues.
Potty trip for both self and dog.
pull shades (or wear sleep mask).
Nap only before noon (4-6hrs into my awake hrs) in order to avoid even more sleep problems during the night.
Important to avoid transferring sleep-cycle to daytime, so i set an alarm for either 1 or 2hrs nap (depending on time availablty).
All-in-all, i think scheduled nap is my next step in strategies to provide best productivity despite recent slide in Abilities.
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best-practices for sleep >> https://truthfulkindness.com/2016/03/23/sleep-problems-again/
George Huba PhD “self-care of nap” >> https://hubaisms.com/2016/04/07/dementia-selfcare-101-a-mindmap/
EXCELLENT article at https://www.domino.com/content/benefits-of-napping/
Amer Fam Physician >> https://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/0501/p2551.html
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