#1679 Napitations (Part Deux)

Nap + Meditation = Magic

On February 25th, 2018 (EXACTLY 6 years ago!), we shared a +1 called “Napitations” in which I introduced the world to the idea of a napitation.

I just took a FANTASTIC napitation during my beast-mode +1 production day (I’m now 5.6 hours of Deep Work in) and thought to myself, “Self, we should talk about naps and napitations again.”

So, here we are. 🤓


Yep. Napitations.

50% Nap. 50% Meditation.

101% Magic.

Back in the day, we did a +1 on the science of naps and how powerful they are for our well-being. And, we know meditation is equally epic and have an entire class on Meditation 101.

So, why not put the two together, eh?

Here’s the quick recap on WHY naps are so powerful…

First, recall that the most elite performers in Anders Ericsson’s research (see our Notes on Peak!) got the most sleep. 8 hours and 36 minutes on average in any given 24 hour period of time. As part of that research, he told us that they took, on average, a 30+ minute nap every day. 😲 🤯

Now for the recap on the science of napping. (Yes, there’s a science of napping!)

Get this: We’re the ONLY animal that tries to get all of its sleep in one cycle. Every other animal on the planet is “multiphasic”—meaning they have multiple phases of sleep. And, we human animals used to be multiphasic as well. It was only recently that we eliminated the afternoon nap from our normal everyday lives.

As Sara Mednick, one of the world’s leading sleep/nap researchers tells us in her great book Take a Nap! Change Your Life, naps are literally written in our DNA.

Naps used to be written into cultural DNA as well. Did you know that back in ancient Roman times, they actually had a precise time when they were supposed to slow down, check out, and take a nap? It was their sixth hour—roughly noon for us. They called it “sexta.”

And, guess what? Their sixth hour (or sexta) is the origin of our modern “siesta.” Of course, it’s no longer cool in our modern society to check out and nap but you’ve gotta know that this shift away from mid-day reboots is a really recent phenomenon.

So, back to the research.

Sara tells us that “Learning after a nap is equal to learning after a full night of sleep.” And that “Test scores of non-nappers deteriorated across the day.”

Research out of Harvard tells us that a nap as short as 6 minutes (yes, SIX MINUTES!) can significantly boost your brain power. (Six minutes! That’s nuts.)

That’s Today’s +1.

Want to be a supercharged and joyful human?

Take a nap.

It might just change your life!

😴 🤓 🚀

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