A Power Nap Can Actually Boost Your Productivity

On a long stressful day, what’s a better way to recharge than to take a quick power nap? Despite its known benefits, most of us feel guilty about adopting this unique productivity tool. However, even famous people like Einstein, Winston Churchill, JFK, and Leonardo da Vinci were all fans of the afternoon brain shut down.

So obviously it must not be a completely bad thing, right? In this article, we will cover the top benefits and some tips that can help you make the best out of this productivity practice.

cat taking a nap
Take a power nap
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Benefits of Power Napping:

1. Reduces sleepiness:

It might not be possible for all of us to get a continuous 8–9 hours of sleep every day. A lot of times even if we do manage to get that sleep, we do not feel that refreshed in the morning. A quick power nap can help you overcome this energy downfall and rejuvenate you for the day ahead.

2. Improves memory and cognition:

Research shows that an afternoon nap can help you feel more rested and alert. Longer naps can also help in improving your memory and cognition. So, for example, if you are thinking of really stretching your day just before exams, that might not be useful for you. When you feel really tired and drowsy during the afternoon, taking a short nap might benefit you more.

3. Regulates emotions:

Remember feeling cranky due to lack of sleep and having a lot of tasks at hand? A quick power nap does a better job in this situation rather than having coffee. Having coffee or anything that can instantly boost your energy might actually worsen your mood. So don’t hesitate to invest those 10–20 minutes at least in order to feel better.

Power Napping Tips:

1. Nap at the right time and for the right duration:

For most people, the duration of 10–20 minutes works the best, typically known as the power nap. The reasoning lies in the sleep cycle. The more you increase the duration the worse you will feel after waking up from the nap. This is because they may wake up from a deeper stage of sleep, which occurs later in the cycle, and feel fuzzy-headed.

Also, try to take a nap in the early afternoon. Research shows a nap taken any time between 1:00 pm to 4:00 PM will coincide with one of the energy dips you feel throughout the day. Thus, it will not have a negative impact on your overall sleep cycle and you will maintain a fine balance of your sleep cycles.

2. You don’t need to fall asleep:

For a lot of people falling asleep doesn’t happen in the flip of a moment. It might take up to 14 minutes or even more to actually fall asleep. So don’t worry about it.

What actually matters is that you close your eyes and let your body and mind relax. Also napping is a skill you will be able to develop over a period of time as and how you practice.

3. Find the right place:

The quality of sleep or nap also depends on how comfortable you are in the sleeping position. So, it matters where you are sleeping and what your body posture is while sleeping.

Choose a place that has minimal noise and more comfort. You need not always be in bed to take a nap. A comfortable chair or just lying down on the desk can do an equally good job.

For most people sleeping adequately and taking rest when required helps them feel better and improve their productivity. Instead of avoiding napping altogether, doing it with certain things in mind can help you get the most out of it.

Are you a napper or a non-napper? Do let us know in the comments below!


3 Super Simple Strategies To Boost Your Willpower

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Many times, in a day we have to choose between things we want to do and things we should do. Do you also struggle with choosing between say watching your favourite TV show and revising that important chapter before the next class? You are not alone.

We all have impulses that come in the way of our longer-term well-being and goals. Yet for some, it might seem easier to control themselves while for some it may seem a downward spiral. So, what does it take to have strong willpower? Let’s find out in this article.

The dictionary meaning of willpower is the ability to control one’s own actions, emotions, or urges. However, it is much harder to explain realistically. In simple terms, our willpower instinct is the driving force that reminds us, resists us from temptations, and pushes us forward to do things we are supposed to do.

It largely is a function of the prefrontal cortex part of our brain and is limited in its capacity. Additionally in the technology-driven and globalized world, our willpower gets constantly bombarded due to a huge number of choices, temptations, and distractions. So, what is the way out? Let’s have a look at some strategies you can use on a daily basis to improve your willpower.

Strategy 1: Get adequate sleep

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Research shows that sleep-deprived individuals are far more likely to give in to impulses. They also tend to focus less and are at a greater risk of making risky or questionable decisions. So, for your physical health as well as exercising of greater willpower, make sure you get the right amount of sleep.

Strategy 2: Practice meditation and slow breathing 

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Science reveals people who meditate on a regular basis have increased neural connections between regions of the brain important for staying focused. One important aspect of meditation is also conscious breathing. The way to do this is to slow down your breath with shorter inhales and longer exhales.

A typical cycle to have is four to six breaths per minute. Carrying forward this breathing practice in your day-to-day life will help you shift into a pause and plan mode. Thus, you will have greater self-control and better response in difficult situations.

Strategy 3: Reflect and forgive yourself

Studies show that being too harsh on ourselves doesn’t help much in the long term. It is better to reflect on our shortcomings, understand where exactly is the scope of improvement and keep a positive mindset while working on yourself. The more you believe you have control over your willpower, the better you will be able to exert it.

To conclude, improving willpower is all about finding the right strategies for yourself, being consistent with your good habits and sailing through tempting or boring situations with a positive mindset. We hope this article will help you move forward in the right direction. Do share your experiences with willpower in the comments below.