We All Just Need to Chill Out!
I love reading studies and science.
I’m a geek like that.
But very few articles have fascinated or entertained me as much as this article from the Scientific American:
This article, which is a surprisingly easy and enjoyable read, goes through more science and research into the brain and the need for downtime than I’ve ever seen.
I can’t possibly regurgitate everything that the article covers, but here are a few of the more salient points:
- Downtime (rest, daydreaming, or just not focusing) is the time when your brain actually does much of the processing. It processes your experiences, your memories, and your understanding of events. Without this downtime, researchers have found that understanding, comprehension, and memory are all inhibited.
- Vacations are great for rejuvenation, but that only lasts for 2-4 weeks after the vacation. Much more effective is just to block off one night per week to not think about work at all.
- Naps are incredibly beneficial, but a 10 minute nap will give you the same benefits as a 30 minute nap, without making you feel nearly as groggy when you wake up.
Ferris Jabr, the author, presents tons of recent research that both confirms things that we already know (sleep is critical for pretty much everything) as well as new and useful tips (spending time in nature has at least as much restorative power as a nap).
Relax a Little More!
Read the article.
And then go get some rest and relaxation.