As you know, the House loves nights... but we also love naps. Very much so. Especially in the heart of summer when the torpor seizes us after a long lunch in the shade of the lime trees. If one French person out of five takes at least one nap a week, many do not find the time to do so and have trouble falling asleep during the day. However, napping has proven benefits on memory, stress and concentration. Discover our simple tips for taking a nap on holiday, whether you're staying in a B&B or a holiday home, without losing sleep after dark.
The right time
We all feel much more like napping in the summer, and that's normal: extreme temperatures (hot or cold) cause what's called heat stress - the body needs more sleep to recover. If you're having trouble sleeping during the day, it's a good idea to get into a daily routine and try to stick to a set time, preferably in the early afternoon so you don't interfere with your nightly sleep. Even if you don't fall asleep for the first few days, your body will eventually get used to this quiet time. If you know how to choose a quality pillow, don't hesitate to take it on holiday, for naps without a stiff neck...
Start by reading a book or listening to a podcast, and forget everything else. And if you like precision, try the "sleep wheel" of Dr. Sara Mednick: this sleep specialist has studied the cycles of many sleepers to determine the ideal nap time.
If you're an early riser, even on vacation, she recommends lying down around 2 p.m. Conversely, those who wake up around 11am should opt for a break around 3:30pm.
The place to be
There are two schools of thought: some people prefer to move away from their room for a change of pace and to ensure that their bed is associated with the night, while others would not leave it even in the middle of the day. The former will prefer a hammock in the shade, a sofa in the cool or a parasol on the beach (even if we advise you to avoid these too hot hours). If you're more of a team player, close the curtains or shutters to keep the room cool without plunging it into complete darkness - you might have trouble waking up.
And don't forget to change your sheets as often as possible, at least once a week, and to choose linen if you spend the summer in a very hot region - its thermoregulatory properties are ideal for naps under the blazing sun.
What about the kids?
Ah, children's naps on holiday: quite a poem... or an inexhaustible source of stress. Children under the age of three generally need a nap (or two) a day. For older children - up to six years old - it depends on the case: some can easily do without, others will demand it. For others, the holidays are a special time when parents are much more available, which can complicate things. If your children have trouble leaving you for a nap, don't worry. Try to put them to bed quietly, even if it's only for 15 minutes: they won't get out of the habit of napping... and it'll give you a break.
As for practical advice, it's pretty simple: avoid making them sleep in complete darkness, cover them up too much and don't forget to rinse them off if you've been to the beach - it's been nicer than sand in the sheets! Feel like going for a walk during the day? That's not necessarily a problem, just try not to eat lunch too late and take a pushchair or baby carrier with you. And you can, exceptionally, catch your own nap later.