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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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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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