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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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        The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

        The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

        It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

        Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

        “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

        In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

        New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

        There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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        So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

        What is the productivity paradox?

        There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

        In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

        He wrote in his conclusion:

        “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

        Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

        How do we measure productivity anyway?

        And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

        In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

        But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

        In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

        But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

        Possible causes of the productivity paradox

        Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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        • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
        • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
        • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
        • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

        There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

        According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

        Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

        The paradox and the recession

        The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

        “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

        This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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        According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

        Looking forward

        A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

        “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

        Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

        “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

        On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

        Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

        Reference

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