Some of you who were thrown into working from home during the pandemic may have just recently discovered the magic of a midday nap. I’m fortunate enough to have been working from home for years, and I’ve long said naps are one reason I don’t think I could ever return to an office setting. (That, and the frigid air conditioning.)
Research abounds on the benefits of a daytime snooze. Studies show that taking a short afternoon nap can help:
But if the science doesn’t convince you, let me suggest a few more reasons to make twenty-minute naps a part of your daily (or at least occasional) practice. I’m a professional lifetime napper—and an advocate of rest—and I’m happy to share what I’ve discovered.
For those of us who sometimes find our worth in what we accomplish, a nap may feel counterproductive but, ironically, a nap can often make us more productive—and the practice of stopping, breathing, and resting can empower us to perform even better. Consider this your permission slip to steal thirty minutes for yourself.
I do want to acknowledge that I’m aware taking a nap is an option some people don’t have. Jobs might not allow it, workplaces might not accommodate it, responsibilities and demands might not leave space for it. But I also know that some of us believe we don’t have space when we actually do. (Note to self: twenty minutes spent napping might do a lot more good than twenty minutes of doom scrolling.)
If you’re new to napping, there are tips that can help improve your nap, like keeping it short (twenty minutes vs. an hour or more) and timing it well (mid-afternoon vs. too late in the day). And people with insomnia should probably skip the nap and consider meditating instead. Beyond that, try grabbing a pillow, closing your eyes, and drifting off. You might be surprised at what you discover.
At least two naps were taken during the writing of this piece. Who’s up for another?
Julie Rybarczyk is a freelance writer, fair-weather blogger, and empty-nester mama who’s living alone and liking it . She’s perpetually the chilliest person in Minneapolis—so most of the year you’ll find her under layers of wool, behind steaming cups of tea. Or on the socials at @shortsandlongs.
BY Julie Rybarczyk - July 21, 2021
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.