Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.
Take a Nap
I know that perhaps more than half of us don’t need any suggestion or help to act upon this happiness tip – we’ve mastered it … hands down. This part of the population already knows that taking a nap midpoint throughout the day can be highly beneficial and frankly, improve our health.
One of the most important benefits is a naps ability to help us reduce stress. Sleep deprivation – even a basic lack of enough sleep – increases the amount of cortisol in our bodies. When we sleep, our bodies release growth hormone which neutralizes cortisol. Let’s face it – our lives get busier and busier leaving us less time to sleep and when we do… it’s difficult to quiet our minds. When we are tired, it is hard to process information, control our emotions, and stay focused. Everything is worse when we are exhausted.
Many of us are familiar with the ‘power nap’ concept but Psychologist and sleep specialist Sara Mendick recommends a 90 min nap smack dab in the middle of the day. It seems as though the ‘ratios of sleep during this cycle mimic a night sleep’ and is therefore, more refreshing – at least for those of us who have typical schedules and sleep between 11 pm and 7 am. Additionally, as long as your nap is three hours *before* you go to bed for the evening – your nights sleep should not be affected.
Being able to take naps will also serve to increase your happiness. We tend to think of pulling the covers up over our head as deepening depression but if it is to intentionally nap – it may indeed improve your mood! Getting more sleep makes us more productive – another element known to increase happiness. We’ll be less stressed – inducing feelings of well-being. Our health improves – giving us something to be happy about.
Make it Work
If you are in a traditional 9 – 5 job, this suggestion may be very difficult for you to employ and yet perhaps it is possible for you to rearrange your hours in such a way that at least some part of that strategy is an option. If you work evenings, are a college student, a homemaker, self-employed, or maybe even work from home, making this nap initiative work may be possible. Still, in our global modern economy, many European countries honor the tradition of a ‘Siesta’ and so it’s no wonder that stress related health issues are not as prevalent in those cultures. Maybe we can learn by their example.
If you are inspired to reduce stress, increase happiness, and generate a better overall life – it may be as simple as setting aside time each day to …
Take a nap.