Every day, I take a 20-minute nap. I call it my 22-minute nap: one minute to fall asleep, 20 to sleep, and one minute to wake up. I was talking to a friend the other day and mentioned it. She was fascinated. I think what strikes people most about this glorious habit of mine is that it works even though it’s such a short amount of time. Somewhere along the way, we seem to have gotten this idea that anything worth doing must take a long time. It’s just not true, and science backs this up.
Let’s talk about the benefits of sleep.
Sleep is important for many reasons. According to Psychology Today, “the effects on the body of accumulating a large sleep debt—the difference between how much sleep we need and how much we get—mimic some hallmarks of aging and can increase the severity of conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.”
Taking a nap isn’t a new idea by any means. People have been napping for thousands of years, and most of us are aware of Spanish siestas. At one point, napping during work hours was even picking up steam in larger, cutting-edge companies.
Let’s talk about the benefits of time spent.
Several studies support the basic idea that small things add up. For example, the University of Michigan just released a study showing that a 20-minute walk in nature cuts stress. In fact, levels of the stress hormone cortisol were cut by 10% (again … in just 20 minutes). There are numerous articles touting how just 15 minutes of daily exercise can help you lose weight, build muscle, and you guessed it, improve your mood.
Let’s talk about what you can do.
My situation, as a self-employed person, is different, because I can go home for this nap. Many people cannot. But here’s the thing about my 22-minute nap — I take this nap for me.
So what I’m asking you to do is to think of what you can do, for you.
What can you do for 15–20 minutes a day that will help make your life richer? Is it yoga, meditation, nap, quick walk?