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Reasons to Not Feel Guilty about Napping

Reasons to Not Feel Guilty about Napping

Napping has proven to have numerous beneficial health qualities. It allows you to stay alert, can reduce stress, and allows you to become more productive as a result. However, there is a science to napping. Because our bodies go into various stages of consciousness and unconsciousness while sleeping, the duration of your nap is the true indicator of how you will feel once you awaken. Today, we will take a look at the art of napping, how it is beneficial for you, and if you are already an individual that naps, but still feel groggy when you wake up, we will talk about how to end that feeling today.

The Art of Napping

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    Napping is all about a even combination of the right timing, location, and environment. These criterion are different for each individual, however for the most part there is a trend of the effects of certain aspects of these criterion. For example, we can first look at timing. Most individuals look to take a nap in the middle of the day. When it is much needed, during the work week, this means that nap timings are already constraint. However, this is also for good reason. a 10 – 20 minute nap is beneficial for these type of mid-day naps due to how you are able to rest without going through the full REM, or Rapid-Eye Movement, cycle.

    This is the measure of going into waves of deep sleep and slight consciousness. After a certain period of time, usually 30 minutes, you begin to go into the deep sleep that results in grogginess when interrupted. This risk period passes after an hour and a half, which is the duration of a nap that goes through the full sleep cycle. If you have 90 minutes to spare, this could be your best option, otherwise, keep it between ten and twenty minutes.

    The location is important because many individuals may find it difficult to go into a full sleep in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar place. If you find yourself having to nap in such a situation, take a familiar item like a blanket or pillow to try to make it more comfortable of a place to lay your head.

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    The Benefits of Napping

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      In a perfect world, we would be able to drop everything we are doing and sleep for eight hours a day and not have any consequences. In a perfect world, we would also be able to do everything we need to get done, sleep for three hours, and feel fine for the rest of the twenty-one hours of the day. Neither situations are possible and that’s where naps come in.

      They allow you to make it through the day on the infrequent days you are unable to get a full nights rest of 7 to 8 hours. It allows you to reduce fatigue and be more alert for the rest of the day. Also, for those who wish to forgo coffee, a mid-afternoon nap is a great way to regain energy naturally, rather than from a coffee bean.

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      The Mistakes of Napping

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        One mistake associated with improper nap taking is oversleeping. As we mentioned above, you should either keep naps between 10 and 20 minutes or no longer than an hour and a half. Secondly, a huge mistake in napping is sporadically doing naps during random times of the day and week. Researchers find that with a nights rest, consistency is key and it’s important to go to bed at the same time every evening.

        While this can be achievable for many, but a failure for a lot of other people, napping inconsistently will have you feeling the effects at a quicker rate. It throws your sleep schedule off whack and could result in a later night as well because your body may feel you are rested enough to last late into the night.

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        There are many misconceptions that come with taking a nap. We hope that this article allowed you to debunk some of them. Let us know in the comments below if you are an individual for or against daily naps.

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        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

        The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

        The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

        Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

        Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

        The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

        Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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        Program Your Own Algorithms

        Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

        Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

        By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

        How to Form a Ritual

        I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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        Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

        1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
        2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
        3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
        4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

        Ways to Use a Ritual

        Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

        1. Waking Up

        Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

        2. Web Usage

        How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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        3. Reading

        How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

        4. Friendliness

        Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

        5. Working

        One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

        6. Going to the gym

        If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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        7. Exercise

        Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

        8. Sleeping

        Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

        8. Weekly Reviews

        The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

        Final Thoughts

        We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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        Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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