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The Science Of Sleep: 8 Secrets About Sleep And Productivity I Wish I Knew Earlier

The Science Of Sleep: 8 Secrets About Sleep And Productivity I Wish I Knew Earlier

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that sleep is important. It rejuvenates the body, refreshes the mind, and if you go too long without it, it can literally kill you.

1. You approach the end of the work day with more energy

According to studies, if you don’t get enough sleep, you reach exhaustion around 11% faster than people who get enough sleep. That may not sound like a lot but in an 8 hour work day, that’s the difference between getting tired at 4:15 P.M. and getting tired at 5 P.M. That last 45 minutes can be some of the most productive of the day if you’re awake enough to experience it.

2. You react to things better and more quickly

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    After just two days of not getting enough sleep, your reaction speed and attention span are absolutely shot. Not paying attention to something or not reacting to it in a timely manner can happen three times more often after just a couple of days of not sleeping well. When you’re not paying attention or reacting to events in the workplace, you may struggle more with assignments and work in general. It’s not worth staying up late to watch Netflix. Get some sleep.

    3. You won’t put it off til the last minute so often

    Lack of sleep has been linked to procrastination. When you don’t sleep well, your energy levels are low and that means you simply don’t feel like doing the work you normally do. This can tank your productivity and actually make you procrastinate.

    4. You’ll be in a better mood to do work

    There is a mental feeling of well-being when you get enough sleep and it shows when you show up for work. You’re happier, more energetic, and when you sit down at your desk you’re more prepared to tackle the day. It’s psychological but it’s still tangible because there is no doubt that you get more work done when you’re rested and prepared for the day as opposed to getting terrible sleep.

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    5. You will approach jobs like you’re not drunk

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      According to a British medical journal, going 17-19 hours without sleep makes your brain act the same way it would if you had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05 (the same you’d get if a 140-pound woman drank two glasses of wine an hour). If you reach the 24 hour mark, that goes up to 0.10. In some states, that’s not even sober enough to drive. With better sleep comes better clarity and with better clarity comes more productivity.

      6. You will solve problems better

      Famous minds like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison loved their nap times. That’s because they always had a problem to solve and sleeping can help you with that. When you sleep, your brain is still pretty active sorting out things and solving problems. When you wake up, your brain is fresh to tackle new problems and continue to solve old ones.

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      7. You approach work more creatively

      Sometimes it’s how hard you work, it’s how you work. When you’re tired, you may be too zombified to find more productive ways of doing things. After a good night’s rest, you may not just be ready for a hard day’s work but you may approach your problems more creatively which can help you work smarter not harder. Who knew that having more energy could actually save you more energy? Aside from every scientist ever and now you, of course!

      8. You will have a better memory

      Have you ever left your job and halfway home remembered that you forgot to do something? Or been on your way to work and realize your forgot something important at home. When you get good sleep, you’ll likely start remembering those things before you’re in the car on your way to your next destination. Like we discussed, sleeping kind of helps the brain clean its own slate and that means you have less on your mind to push the stuff you need to remember out of the way.

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        Sleeping is important. It doesn’t take science to tell you that. Aside from the dozens of health benefits, sleep can also help make you more productive and help you enjoy your job more. The bottom line advise here is the same as it always is. Get more sleep!

        Featured photo credit: Incredible Things via incrediblethings.com

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        1 8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More 2 How Exercising Makes You More Productive 3 10 Practical Ways to Drastically Improve Your Time Management Skills 4 15 Highly Successful People Who Failed On Their Way To Success 5 How to Memorize More and Faster Than Other People

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        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

        8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

        8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

        You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

        Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

        When you train your brain, you will:

        • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
        • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
        • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

        So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

        1. Work your memory

        Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

        When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

        If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

        The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

        Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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        Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

        What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

        For example, say you just met someone new:

        “Hi, my name is George”

        Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

        Got it? Good.

        2. Do something different repeatedly

        By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

        Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

        It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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        And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

        But how does this apply to your life right now?

        Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

        Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

        Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

        So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

        You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

        That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

        3. Learn something new

        It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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        For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

        Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

        You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

        4. Follow a brain training program

        The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

        5. Work your body

        You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

        Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

        Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

        Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

        6. Spend time with your loved ones

        If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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        If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

        I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

        7. Avoid crossword puzzles

        Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

        Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

        Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

        8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

        Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

        When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

        So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

        The bottom line

        Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

        Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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