Change Your Life Without Getting Out of Bed

Sark’s first job was as the wake-up fairy in kindergarten, touching her classmates with a magic wand to let them know naptime was over.

These days she’s doing the opposite, wielding her magic markers to encourage us all to lie down and take it easy for a while. “Naps fluff us up and make us more kind,” she declares, adding, “My life is one long nap, punctuated by brief moments of activity.”

The whole book glows with her distinctive hand lettering in rainbow colors, fanciful illustrations, and luscious watercolor washes. All this creates a sense of intimacy, as if you’re reading a personal letter from a wildly creative friend. Even the normally dull-as-ditchwater copyright page is transformed into a work of art.

Sark gives us permission slips for abundant, guilt-free naps, suggests nap locales and accessories (jammies with feet!), and addresses the reasons people avoid napping, such as waking up groggy. (It’s all in the timing.) One of my favorite pages shows a Clock of Forgiveness whose hands point to Go Back to Sleep, Call Later, No Worries, and Actually, I Don’t Feel Like It.

The concept that napping promotes physical and mental well-being isn’t just fairy dust, either. Study after study has identified sleep deprivation—far too common in our culture—as a major factor in perils ranging from road accidents and industrial disasters to heart attacks and immunodeficiency. Science is on Sark’s side.

Sark herself is probably on her side too, or maybe on her back, napping blissfully even as you read this.

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