How Much Rest Do You Need to Prevent Burnout

Most of us already know that if we don’t have enough time to rest and recuperate between stressful tasks, we risk burning out. But how much rest do we really need?

According to the doctor. Emily and Amelia Nagoski, we should try to spend about 42 percent of our time on vacation. That’s eight hours of sleep and two hours of relaxation without sleep per day.

As Nagoski and Nagoski explain in their book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle :

We are not saying that you should rest 42% of your time; we say that if you don’t take 42 percent, you will be taken by 42 percent. He will grab you by the face, push you to the ground, put his foot on your chest and declare himself the winner.

Have you ever gotten a terrible cold after completing a major project? Did you sleep 12 or 14 hours every day during the first three days of your vacation? Like Amelia, did you literally end up in the hospital after a long period of intense stress? We have now established that stress is a physiological phenomenon that affects all systems and functions of our body, including the immune system, digestion and hormones. To keep all of these systems in full working order, our biology requires that we spend 42 percent of our life supporting the body of our physical existence.

Luckily for us, that doesn’t mean you have to spend ten hours every day, just sleep and rest. You can also get your 42 percent off by relieving stress such as exercising or hanging out with loved ones. Eating is also considered a stress-relieving activity as long as there are no screens – and while none of the Nagoski brothers mention reading as a 42 percent activity, I highly recommend it. (You might start by reading Burnout, and then you might want to check out The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. )

Basically, if you’re hoping to avoid burnout, you need as close to eight hours of sleep as possible – and roughly two hours each day, during which your mind and body can move, wander, imagine, connect, perceive sensory information. it doesn’t come from the glowing rectangle, and relax.

Good luck.


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