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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 September 17, 2018

        How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

        How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

        Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

        Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

        All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

        Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

        How bad really is multitasking?

        It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

        Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

        This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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        We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

        So what to do about it?

        Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

        Now, forget about how to multitask!

        Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

        1. Get enough rest

        When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

        This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

        When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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        2. Plan your day

        When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

        When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

        Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

        3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

        I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

        I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

        Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

        4. When at your desk, do work

        We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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        Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

        5. Learn to say no

        Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

        Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

        By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

        6. Turn off notifications on your computer

        For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

        Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

        7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

        Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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        You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

        The bottom line

        Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

        Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

        Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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