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Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty about Taking a Nap Every Day

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty about Taking a Nap Every Day

Waking up early and going to bed late can start to take a toll both physically and mentally after a while. We wake up, get ready for our day, go the whole day without taking a rest, and then stay up late, creating a routine cycle that can often leave us exhausted, depleted of energy, and more stressed than we need to be. All of that can be prevented by taking a nap every day. There are even some famous snoozers who reap the benefits of daily naps, including former President Bill Clinton, inventor Thomas Edison, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, actor Matthew McConaughey, singer Lady Gaga, and actress Cameron Diaz. Here’s why:

Energy

One of the overwhelmingly obvious benefits of taking a daily nap is an increase in your energy afterwards. When you go through half of your day, your energy tends to dip, depending on how much work you’re doing (both physically and mentally), what you consume, and how much sleep you get the night before, among other things. By taking a 30-minute nap, your energy levels get a chance to rest and recharge, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day.

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Memory boost

Studies have shown that taking a nap of 20 minutes helps to clear your brain of built-up information, increasing the brain’s ability to remember long-term information. So, if you’re looking to improve your ability to remember people’s names at your new job, it might be a good idea to turn your computer monitor off and take a mini-nap to increase your chances.

It’s also been said that taking naps increase your alertness throughout the day. On a day without a nap, you may find yourself trying to fight off sleep. On a day with a nap, you’ll find yourself becoming more alert to what you’re focusing on, giving you a better chance to be productive.

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Taking a break

One thing that doesn’t happen too often is taking a break. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish after you’ve decided to regroup and catch your breath for a minute or two (or five), as a quick mini nap:

  • Helps cure writer’s block
  • Takes your mind off of what you’re working on
  • Gives you a chance to get up and stretch
  • Gives you an opportunity to take a nap

That’s right: when you take a break from what you’re doing, you can nap and reset your mind. This gives you a chance to seize the day.

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Refocusing

Taking a nap will let your mind refocus itself and give you a clear thought process for the rest of your day. This can be beneficial in many different ways: more productivity, more brainpower, less burnout, etc.

As you’re going through your workday, it might be a good idea to use part of your lunch break to sleep in your car (unless your job allows you to sleep in your office). Heck, it might even be a good idea to ask your boss if you can take short naps when you’re at work. Either way, find the time to get it done. You’ll be able to reap the benefits.

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Less stress

When our bodies shut down to sleep, they work on replenishing energy, relieving stress, and healing both body and mind. If you were to take a daily nap, even on the days that you don’t have work, you can begin to see your stress levels reduce significantly.

Because of this, we are ready to take on the day without dragging our feet the last half of the afternoon. So sit back, kick your feet up, and take a little snooze—your body and brain will thank you.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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