I have spent the seven years since starting our family, giving my husband a secret sideways glare once his eyes were shut with every nap. Often saying to myself “must be nice to not have a million things to do…” while returning to my form of busy.
HA! Here’s the crazy thing that took me far too long to learn. He always has a million things to do too. And he is always helping me out around the house and with the kids in every way you can imagine, but he learned the #1 Secret of Adulting way quicker than I did.
“I have to finish this…”,
“I just have to do one last thing…”
“You can sleep when you’re dead…”
Our to-do lists take priority over our physical health and our emotional well-being. Our calendars become the boss of us, and being “soooo tired” because we’re “soooo busy” becomes a badge of honour to wear in our hustle-hustle-hustle culture.
- Lack of sleep costs U.S. companies a staggering $63 billion in lost productivity, according to a September 2011 study from the Journal of Sleep.
- A study done with Greeks found that those that took a 30 minute nap at least three times a week had 37% less risk of dying from a heart-related condition. Among working men their risk of death was reduced 64%!
- NASA conducted a study on military pilots and astronauts, and found that a 40 minute nap can improve performance by 34% and alertness by 100%
I'm sold. I see it work for my hubby day-in and day-out, and when you give me the science of something I become a bigger believer.
The trick is the amount of time we nap for. Turns out that 15-20 minutes can be a perfect cat-nap, where 30 minutes will almost always lead to grogginess. If you have longer, 60-90 minutes will get you through a full REM cycle which boosts our physical, mental, and emotional health the most.
So now, when I grab my favourite blanket, snuggle up on the couch, and slow down my breathing - I let my thoughts drift around my head, as I keep inhaling and exhaling slowly and my body naturally drifts into a short nap. When I feel myself naturally come out of it, I just come out of it instead of trying to force myself to nap longer. Now, I skip the groggy, gross post-nap feeling more often than not.
Yawn... all this napping talk is making me sleepy! Tell me, are you a napper? Do you love it? Hate it? Have I convinced you that it's a good idea yet?