Napping for Longevity

The quest for longevity, and to a further extent immortality, is one as old as recorded history, as it continues to be in modern times with research into where are  the most concentrate groups of centenarians and what do they have in common in terms of lifestyle.   Ultimately we are searching for secrets to a longer, happier and more fulfilling life.

Funny because most of these “secrets” are everyday common wisdom, valued among traditional cultures, and nowadays discarded in favor of a more efficient, faster-paced, more productive life complete with smart phones and constant access to the Internet. .

Recently I was talking with our neighbor’s handyman and gardener, a soft-spoken older gentleman from El Salvador, about the merits of napping.  We were on our way in to give my two year old daughter her afternoon nap.

Somehow the idea of a siesta here is considered lazy and is under-valued.  In El Salvador, he told me, everyone takes a break in the middle of the day to eat calmly and then take a rest.  Usually its about 2 hours total.

Take a nap, change your life“, by Sara Mednick, a great book my mentor Dr. Robert Johns keeps in his clinic waiting room, outlines how taking a nap actually increases productivity, making us significantly more efficient in the second half of the day.

Slow down, unplug, and take a mid-day break.  It’s good for you.

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