I take afternoon naps as often as I can, and I try not feel guilty about them.

Sleep is important. Even just an hour or two of a quick shut-eye does wonders to stress-levels, productivity, and general well-being. And I find it interesting that such a fundamental self-care technique is being shunned so often, while esoteric (and often bullshit) practices are lauded as important.

I of course realize that sleep is often made impossible by objective reasons. Long work hours, families, etc. There's nothing wrong with that. That being said, I wonder how much of those are actual barriers, and how much is a somewhat real but very convenient excuse.

I think even with long hours and responsibilities like family life would allow more sleep. It's just that because sleeping is so frowned upon that we came to believe it's impossible.

How much you sleep is irrelevant from the perspective of how much you can work or take care of other responsibilities. It's how you use your time awake that matters. If you can get stuff done in two hours, why would you spend three - instead af getting it done in those two hours and sleep for one.

And the same goes for any time scale.

We aren't obsessed with being effective. (Most of the time.) We are obsessed with working a lot. And by "a lot" I mean as much as is deemed sufficient by the optics of societal acceptance.

Instead, we are told to meditate, for example. Or take a walk around the block or whatever. Neither of which is a bad notion, mind you, and can act as a form of recharge opportunity in lieu of sleep. There are situations where sleep is in fact not possible or unfeasible. With that said, I don't think grabbing a quick nap in the office lounge should be weird or unacceptable. Or getting home after work and getting half an hour of sleep in. Yet it is.

Often we don't do it because we fear we seem lazy and unproductive. When in fact we should do it to become super productive. We should do it to separate work life from private life, and get a quick boost to have the patience and energy for the kids or house chores or whatever.

We shouldn't feel guilty about wanting (or downright needing) a recharge on our batteries. I think it's better spending an extra hour or two a day, even combined, to sleep, than four hours being less productive and feeling out of sync and down. Over time that translates into stress, anxiety, and contributes to the age of mental health problems we are living in.

Again, it's not how much you're awake that matters, but how well you use that awake time. Sleep, when you can, so you can be a lot more present when you're awake.