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Why You Should Do What Kit Kat Tells You

Why You Should Do What Kit Kat Tells You

When it comes to our careers and work in general, thriving and growing within our job means we need to be as productive as possible. Getting results means getting things done but when we’re in this mindset we usually end up sacrificing breaks in order to create more time.

While this can bring about results in the short term, over time it can lead to burnout and feeling mentally drained. Our productivity will eventually take a nosedive simply because we haven’t taken time out to switch off and take a breather.

Tiredness and fatigue is a result of our bodies not getting enough time to restore energy plus adding skipped meals into the mix means running on empty with no sufficient nutrients and energy to be the productive person you want to be. It’s a vicious cycle that many of us jump into.

Why Don’t We Take Enough Breaks?

It’s a catch 22 that we skip our breaks in order to be more productive yet the more we do this the less productive we actually become. So why do we do it?

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No time. Feeling like we have more work than time to complete it is common. Constant emails and meetings means when we step into the office in the morning time can fly into mid and late afternoon. Yet you feel you never get anything finished – there are even more emails and meetings piling up for the next day.

Afraid of what others think of you. Even if your boss isn’t that demanding, you don’t want to seem like you’re skiving at work by taking too many breaks. This is worse when you work in an open-plan office where people can see your every move. You can start to feel paranoid when you take your third 10 minute break of the day feeling that your colleagues or managers are judging you.

You don’t think breaks are necessary. Many people find breaks inconvenient and think sitting down and relaxing for 10 minutes is a waste of time. It can feel unenjoyable when you know you have so much work to be getting on with that many just don’t take that needed break.

You don’t know how to take a break. Many places of work encourage people to take breaks away from their desks but if this isn’t the case for you, sitting at your desk can lead to scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feeds. While this may feel like a break, it doesn’t relax your mind or really give your mind the mentally productive break it needs.

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What Actually Happens If We Don’t Take Those Needed Breaks?

Performance decreases. Research has shown that working on a task for long periods of time without a break creates a decrease in performance overall. While taking regular breaks increases performance on the task at hand.

Procrastination increases. Getting into the flow while working is a great feeling but this doesn’t last forever. As humans, we get bored and this usually leads to procrastination. Our brains aren’t designed to focus for long periods which is why taking a break is more beneficial and gets us back on track when boredom sets in. It’s all about “deactivating and reactivating”[1] our goals to stay focused.

Attention span is shortened. The average attention span for an adult is between 15 and 40 minutes. This can decrease even more if you continually never take breaks. In other words, we end up running on empty in terms of cognitive function which can be resolved by taking time out for our brain to reboot.

Fatigue and burnout. A burnout is usually the last thing to happen but it’s the collective routine of not pausing to take time out. Tiredness and fatigue is usually the precursors and indicates that our body is getting worn out. This can result in the task taking longer to complete or getting sick resulting in tasks not being completed at all.

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Take Breaks to Increase Your Productivity and Wellbeing

Track and limit the time you spend on tasks. Do you know how much time you actually spend on daily tasks? Research suggests[2] that only around 17 percent of people know the amount of time that goes by when they’re tackling a task. Be aware of how much time you spend so you can gauge a better understanding of a productive schedule and when to interject breaks.

Shift your mindset. Often our biggest hurdle is not accepting that breaks are for our benefit. Start to view taking breaks as a necessity rather than a hindrance.

Never skip meals. Scheduling lunchtime meetings or using your lunch hour as a way to keep up with mounting work is extremely detrimental to your productivity. Skipping meals or rushing them will only harm your health and long term productivity. Use this time to relax and think of things unrelated to work as this reboots the brain as you nourish it.

Throw away excuses. ‘I don’t have enough time’ may have crossed your mind numerous times but we have to bin the excuses. Help yourself by making a list of what you need to get done for the day to help declutter your mind but remember to include breaks in this list as they’re just as important. This will help speed up the process of getting things done.

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Consider exercise. Sitting down away from your work or taking a nap are great ways to rejuvenate. But research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine[3] has found that incorporating exercise into your work day may help improve productivity. Try joining a gym near your work, go for a lunchtime run or a simple walk to get your brain energised and ready to tackle work again.

Just Take That Break!

Try not to convince yourself that working for long stretches is the optimum productivity strategy. It’s clear from research that our brain isn’t designed to concentrate for long periods and needs time to switch off in order to work at its best.

One study found the secret to the optimum routine for productivity: working for 52 minutes and breaking for 17 minutes[4]. This created the best work flow for highest performance.

So ditch the excuses, don’t work through lunch, take time to eat and refuel, and even consider going for a workout. Whatever it is you do, make sure you carve out important time to reboot your brain and watch your productivity levels rise!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel.com via pexels.com

Reference

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Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 8, 2020

How to Sleep Through the Night and Get Good Rest

How to Sleep Through the Night and Get Good Rest

“Healthy sleep is an essential part of our life as regular exercise and healthy diet”

. A good sleep directly affects our mental and physical health and also linked to better cognitive function, lower rates of inflammation and heart disease. It is also directly related to daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight. Contrary, people having poor sleep at night may have a higher risk of heart disease. It may also cause depression, confusion in day activities, anxiety and even memory loss.

Poor sleep may also lead to weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children. Much research also shows that poor sleep has instant negative effects on your hormones, exercise performances, and brain functions. Many people are facing sleeping disorders in the world and some of them even know about that. Also, many of us regularly toss and turn at night, struggling to get the sleep we need.

There are all kinds of things that can disrupt your sleep like your daily schedule, your working hours, certain medications, an uncomfortable sleep environment, or changes to your normal sleep schedule (like jet lag or a different work schedule) can make it harder to nod off, too.

Why Do I Keep Waking up at Night?

If you keep waking up at night, it could be caused by various things. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:

1. Sleep Apnea

It is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. This is a common reason for waking in the middle of the night. It causes shallow breathing, which may cause a person to wake up several times per night. Some people are not even realized that their sleep is interrupted or break. A person who has sleep apnea may notice symptoms such as:

  • Headaches in the morning
  • Gasping for air at night
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Snoring
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
Treatment and Remedies

If sleep apnea is a cause or likely to cause frequently waking up in the middle of the night, a healthcare provider/doctor will probably refer the person to a sleep center. They may also advise or recommend a treatment plan to address sleep apnea.

Best treatment options available are undergoing surgery, using airway pressure devices, or trying oral appliances that help open the airways.

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2. Insomnia

It means a condition wherein a person finds it difficult or impossible to fall or stay asleep or Waking up in the middle of the night is called insomnia, and it’s a common problem. People who have insomnia don’t feel as if they get enough sleep at night. It may have many possible causes like-stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits, daytime tiredness, etc.

Its symptoms include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Frequent wake-ups during the night
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
Treatment and Remedies
  • Start doing meditation or yoga
  • Do not eat heavy or spicy meals before bed
  • Doing regular exercise
  • Do not nap during the day
  • Make your bedroom conducive to sleep

3. Anxiety, Stress, Depression, or Worry

These can cause insomnia. Yes, it is so true that insomnia can cause because of these conditions. Both anxiety and depression makes it difficult for a person to calm their mind or shut down their thinking processes. This can make it hard for a person to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Treatment and Remedies

People suffering from these conditions should consult with their health care providers or doctors. Home remedies or techniques for anxiety and depression are:

  • Playing/listening to soft songs or calm music.
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing the number of tasks to do
  • Meditating
  • Creating a calming environment in the bedroom

4. Consuming Caffeine Late in the Day

Caffeine is a tonic that can make it harder to fall asleep. A single dosage can increase focus, energy and sports performance.

However, when consumed late in the day, coffee stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. So stop consuming more caffeine in a day to get better and calm sleep at night.

5. Your Exposure to Light

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain produces more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more conscious.

Exposure to bright lights just before bed might affect your quality and quantity of sleep. So turn off all mobile screen lights before bed and avoid all artificial lights before bed, it helps you fall asleep at night.

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6. Indigestion

Eating some spicy food, junk food or unhealthy food just around bedtime can also create sleep issues. Indigestion causes uncomfortable bloating and gas make it difficult to fall asleep at night and even and it may wake someone up in the middle of the night.

To avoid the indigestion problem,  eat healthy and light food at night. If you want to eat heavy or spicy food, do it earlier in the day and not before or around bedtime. This may help you to have good sleep at night.

7. Your Bedroom/Sleep Environment

One of the possible reasons that you are not getting enough sleep is that your bedroom environment is not properly optimized. Factors include the temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement, etc.

You can improve the sleep environment by doing these:

  • Minimize disturbing or external noises
  • Keep it dark and cool
  • Ban work from the bedroom
  • Reduce light and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks
  • Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place
  • Don’t overheat your bedroom temperature

How Do I Stay Asleep Through the Night?

To stay asleep through the night and get some good rest, start trying these:

1. Take a Warm Bath

Just before or around bedtime, take a warm bath, it helps to drop down the body temperature and may help you to feel tired. It can also help you to relax and calm and slow down, so, you are ready to go to bed. Studies show that they can improve overall sleep quality and helped people get more deep sleep.

2. Make a Habit of Regular Exercise or Can Do Meditation or Yoga

If you are spending your whole day watching TV, playing games on mobile phones or tablets, etc, it can make you lazy and inactive. And this usually makes it pretty difficult to fall asleep at night.

Active people tend to get better sleep at night.[1] Hence, by exercising or doing yoga, you can reduce stress and anxiety—which in itself might help increase sleep time by more than 20%.

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Don’t do exercise just before bedtime though, it could affect sleep.

3. Eat Healthy Foods to Promote Sleep

Make a habit of eating healthy foods and fruits and avoid eating spicy food, junk food.

To help you sleep better, you can eat these:

  • Cherries
  • Bananas
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Toast
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Spinach

4. Improve Your Sleep Environment

As mentioned in the last section, a peaceful and good sleep environment sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses.

Make sure your room temperature is not too cold or hot as it affects your sleep too.

To get good quality sleep, do these things:

  • Keep your room cool
  • Keep noise down
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable
  • Reduce all external noises like traffic noise, etc.

5. Create a Bedtime Routine

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps to fall asleep quicker. And to bring that feeling of sleepiness, it helps to have a quiet bedtime routine.

Bedtime routines have two serve purposes: it is meant to be relaxing and calming, not so exciting, and it helps to form a behavioral association and gives signals to the brain to feel you sleepy.

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Here’s How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier.

6. Take Time to Relax and Calm Your Body

Take a deep breath before going to bed, calm and relax your body. It helps to reduce all-day stress and calm down your mind which may make you fall asleep fast. If you watch TV around bedtime or use mobile phones, switch it off for some time and calm yourself down before going to bed.

7. Rule Out a Sleep Disorder

An underlying health condition may be the cause of your sleep problems. One of the causes is sleep apnea which causes inconsistent and interrupted breathing, and disturbs your sleep at night. People with this disorder stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping. If you any have symptoms of this disorder, you must consult a doctor immediately.

The Bottom Line

Sleep plays a crucial part in your health. Conserving energy, healing the body, consolidating memories, and regulating emotions are some of the key reasons why we sleep. Studies say that due to inadequate sleep, obesity risk is increased in children by 89% and in adults by 55%.[2] Other research concludes that sleeping less than 6 hours per night enhances your risk of developing heart disease.[3]

So besides nutrition and exercise, sleep is a major pillar of overall health and well being, and you should take steps to ensure that you always get a good night’s sleep.

More Tips to Help You Sleep Better

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

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