You are right that the standard thinking on this is that napping during the day prevents you from establishing a routine sleep pattern at night.
Having said that, I will tell you this: My husband and I have been dealing with my SUCKY sleep issues for YEARS! I haven't slept since my 27 year old was born. Seriously!
We have determined that sleep is a precious commodity and that I need to take it when I can get it! So, yes, I nap when needed, especially if I haven't slept all night!
A few things you need to realize: Not everyone has the same biological clock. You may be an early riser and need to go to bed at 7pm. You may be a night owl and need to sleep in 'til noon. If you don't work outside of your home and aren't forced to be dependent on someone else's schedule, then definately figure out what YOURS is. My sleep is so irratic that I CAN'T be on someone else's schedule. My sleep is SO bad that I CAN'T work. So I work from home on my own schedule. Try to figure out who you are first. Then go with that. As consistantly as possible.
I am EXTREMELY caffeine sensitive. (And a tea vendor, not a good combo, LOL) If I have a glass of tea during the day, I WILL be up all night. I know that. Maybe you are, too. The problem with exhaustion is we think the cure is stimulation, but it's not. It's rest. So don't overstimulate yourself. Let yourself rest.
I keep the TV on at night. That's HORRIBLE for most people because they stay up and watch it. They have to stay up to see how their show finishes. I don't. I need the soft drone in the background to hypnotise me to sleep. So, if there's a show I "need" to see the end of, I'll turn on the VCR (DVR) and tape it, and roll over and go to sleep. Then I'll watch the end of my show the next day. My husband HATES it, because he's normal and likes it quiet and dark. So the agreement is, if I'm snoring, he can turn off the tube.
If you live alone, figure out if you need soft music, white noise, a nightlight, the dog in the bed with you, or whatever your security blanket is. If you live with a partner, you might need some cooperation with this because they are probably normal and won't like whatever it is you need. If they love you and hate seeing you suffer, they'll get it.
So, I hope that my experiences will help you. I wish you the best of health and pleasant dreams!
Honda OSM specifications