How to get Energy through…Napping?

How to get Energy through Napping

Sleep is becoming somewhat of an obsession in our modern world, hence the reason for this website. One thing that the industrial revolution and climbing the career ladder made us sacrifice is sleep. We have a flurry of research being done in this area and it’s nice to see more light shining on the subject. I’m starting a personal revolution to claim back my sleep by reducing the stressors in my day. 

I’m in Bali at the moment for a little R&R. One of my favourite things about this place besides the villa, private pool, clean air, lush greenery, fresh organic food, the friendly people (…I could keep going), is that I get to nanna nap! Whether you call it a nanna nap, catnap, siesta, power nap or snooze, napping is one of those forbidden luxuries that has received a bad rap in the western world for being associated with laziness.

Coming from a fast-paced world, I find it hard to switch off immediately when on holidays. It takes me a few days to cleanse my brain of work thoughts, so my initial naps are usually spent thinking about work and life admin, with no actual restorative napping occurring. Sound familiar?  However, now that I am a few days in I’ve had time to unwind and practice my relaxation (who would have thought relaxing needed practice?), work is now a distance memory and I can finally nap properly.

Believe it or not, there is a science behind napping, it’s actually good for you and helps increase productivity. Think about it, when you wake from a short nap you are usually more relaxed, you approach problems with non-emotional ease and overall you are more efficient.

A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.

If these guys say it’s beneficial, I think I’ll take their advice.

So many disasters have happened as a result of sleepiness and fatigue. These tragedies include Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, The Challenger Explosion, The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, American Airlines Flight 1420 Crash and the Metro North train crash. On a personal level, when I was suffering from chronic sleep paralysis, I would microsleep behind the wheel daily, that’s scary! All of these occurrences are evidence that sleep and daytime naps are extremely crucial.

I know what you’re thinking, of course you can nap while you are sitting in Bali by your private pool enjoying a few Bintangs, you don’t have work, kids or dinner to navigate. You are right, but this holiday will end and I will eventually go back to my real life with all of those real-life challenges. But, one thing I always try to hold onto when I get back is the holiday glow or holiday feeling, and I believe napping can help me do this. So how am I going to do Bali napping during my busy time poor life?

Is Napping Good for You?

Well, I read a book recently called Own the Day, Own your Life by Aubrey Marcus, which has a chapter about napping and its effectiveness. As it goes, we usually fall into a lull about mid-afternoon, that’s when productivity levels decrease and you are more prone to being distracted by Facebook or that 3pm pick me up coffee or chocolate. Aubrey suggests an afternoon nap during your lunch break to combat this, just for 30 mins, while listening to binaural tunes. This length of time and these tunes basically place you in a state of nap that is restorative and will help you get through the afternoon with an enthusiastic bang! Aubrey has binaural tunes available on his website which you can sample and choose your favourite jam. You can download one for free and purchase the others for as little as $5.

I work in an industrial area and don’t have a fancy office like Google, so I don’t have a beautiful park I can slumber in or a sleeping pod I can escape to, my only option is my car. My plan? After eating my lunch, I will go into my car, recline my seat, put on my binaural jams, start the shutdown process and enter the napping phase. Sounds easy enough, right?

Hmm… I do have some concerns, some of which you are probably thinking too. Firstly, the nature of my work involves clients, demanding clients. It will take a LOT of discipline to peel myself away from emails and switch my phone off to give myself this time to reset. The added challenge is trying to stop thinking about urgent tasks due that day. If it takes me a solid 3 days to stop thinking about work on holidays, will 30 mins daily be enough to reset? Studies have found that even if you can’t fall asleep, just laying down for a short time can lower blood pressure and relieve a small amount of stress. It’s enough to give it a go.

One of my other major concerns is the nap length, depending on whether I had a good night’s sleep or not, I don’t want to fall into a sleep state, because I will wake up more tired than I was to begin with.

I will need to test different nap lengths to see what duration is right for me. A research journal Sleep conducted a study on the benefits of naps and no naps. They found that a 10-minute nap produced the most benefit in terms of reduced sleepiness and improved cognitive performance. A nap lasting 30 minutes or longer increased risk of sleep inertia, which is the grogginess you sometimes feel after sleep, which is what I don’t want!

Seeing as I haven’t actually found a more feasible solution during my sleep research, I am going to attempt to integrate this into my daily routine as part of work/life balance. I’ll start with 30 mins and work back to smaller intervals if needed. I’ll report back in a week with my feedback and results- good and bad. Feel free to take this journey with me and share your experience in the comments below.

A few helpful tips…

  • Ensure you are managing the extent of light filtering through to your eyes, so wear an eye mask if you are in a private. If you are in a park, place your hat or light towel over your eyes.
  • Make sure you don’t nap too late in the afternoon as this may affect your night sleep patterns negatively.

Happy Napping!

Sleeping Disorders in Hollywood

Sleeping Disorders in Hollywood

Sleeping disorders do not discriminate between the rich and famous and us normal-tons. In the glamourous world of Hollywood, it appears as though celebrities are living perfect lives, immune to sickness and disease. However, life in the spotlight can be hard, with gruelling work schedules and constantly having to be on your A-game. This high pressured lifestyle can cause stress, leading to sleeping disorders. Here is a list of 5 celebrities who suffer when it comes to sleep, proving they are still human…

Jennifer Aniston

Celebrities who suffer from sleeping disorders

Sleep walking, also known as somnambulism.

Due to the stress of her TV and film work schedules, along with her very public breakup with Brad Pitt, Jen has admitted to sleep walking. She once said: ‘I sleepwalk. I set off our alarm once. I was outside. The alarm scared the **** out of me and I woke up, and I was out by the pool equipment in the back. I don’t know what I was doing. I heard this yelling because he’s terrified, he hears the alarm and I’m not there!”.

 

Shaquille O’Neal

Sleep Apnea

Shaq’s wife noticed that he was snoring very loudly and would stop breathing in his sleep. She alerted him to his issue, which is when he decided to see a sleep specialist and was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea.

He documented his experience with Harvard Medical School to increase the awareness of sleep apnea:

 

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel NarcolepsyNarcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that is commonly characterised by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the day.

In an interview with Esquire Magazine, Jimmy spoke about his condition saying he has fallen asleep in meetings, watching television, driving and evening hosting! Being a comedian, he jokes about his condition and admits it is mild compared to what other sufferers endure.

 

 

Restless Legs SyndromeKeith Olbermann

Restless Legs Syndrome

As the name suggests, this sleeping disorder causes unpleasant sensations in the legs, which creates the urge to move constantly them. These episodes commonly happen when going to sleep.

Keith told The New Yorker that this syndrome keeps him from sleeping at night because of an intense urge to get out of bed and move around. He takes medication that helps him get some shut-eye. On at least one occasion, he’s even taken to answering emails on his BlackBerry while waiting for the meds to kick in.

 

Lady Gaga

Insomnia

Being a celebrity who makes their own music can be obsessive. Lady Gaga revealed that a year after she became famous, the insomnia kicked in. She told OK! Magazine: “My passion is so strong I can’t sleep – I haven’t slept for three days,”

“I lie in bed and try to pray and breathe. I have a very overactive mind. I’m the sort of person who’d never take medication to calm myself. It’s maddening. But I love what comes out.”

Insomina is a severe condition that can be fatal. Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith and Heath Ledger all suffered from insomnia and died from an over-dose of sleeping pills.

If you suffer from insomnia, or any other sleeping disorder for that matter, please speak to your doctor or see a sleep specialist.

 

Aromatherapy Scents for Sleep

Aromatherapy Scents for Sleep

I wasn’t hugely convinced by the effects of Aromatherapy until a close friend got into it and suggested I try it for my sleep issues. So, I did a little research and tried it out for myself one night, and now there is absolutely no going back, it’s become part of my nightly routine. My bedside table now sports a stylish diffuser that helps me fall into a deep, restorative slumber with whatever scent I choose, and I wake up feeling refreshed and energised. Working a highly demanding advertising job, it also keeps my worries and stresses at bay, so I gently fall asleep with positive thoughts and emotions. I would never have thought the benefits of aromatherapy for sleep would be this effective. So, I am here to share my experience, going from a chronic sleep-paralysis and insomnia sufferer to a completely zen and calm sleeping being.

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Dealing with Sleep Paralysis

sleep paralysis demon

As many of you know, I have suffered from chronic sleep paralysis in the past so this topic is very personal to me. I had no idea how common this problem was until I was brave enough to seek help, as I was afraid of being labeled as crazy. At my worst, I had severe insomnia and anxiety, I honestly thought there was a poltergeist out to get me, which was hard to explain to a doctor while maintaining that I was NOT insane, I felt like it made me look even more crazy! Understanding the how and why Sleep Paralysis happens helped me overcome the debilitating fear associated with this disorder.

– Emily, Owner, Stop Snoring Guide

So, how what is Sleep Paralysis and how does it happen? Read more

Things to Make you Stop Snoring

Things That Make You Stop SnoringI get it, sometimes you just don’t have time to go to the doctor for a problem like snoring. It’s not painful (to you anyway) so there is a lack of urgency to fix it… Until you have friends, family or that special someone sleeping over, then it becomes a code red emergency! To avoid this last-minute panic, let’s deal with the issue now.

So, what are the most popular anti snoring devices out there, that can be conveniently bought without the hassle of visiting a doctor? What products are working for other people, that could possibly be the cure to your snoring problems?

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How Does Sleep Paralysis Happen?

How does Sleep Paralysis Happen?

I have yet to come across a person who does not enjoy sleep. Other than being utterly relaxing, it is scientifically proven that the human body needs a solid 8 hours of snooze time to function optimally. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, inability to focus and concentrate, exhaustion and so many other issues. We have all been sleep deprived at some point in our lives, but what if you had a sleeping disorder that kept you from sleeping? Not insomnia, rather one that feels like you have woken up in a nightmare, but you can’t move or make a sound. It’s called Sleep Paralysis and for sufferers, it’s absolutely terrifying!

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Healthy Late Night Snacks, That Help Induce Sleep!

Healthy Late Night Snacks

In an increasingly fast-paced time-poor world, a good night’s sleep, preferably 8 hours, interrupted is considered GOLD.

However, life of every age group in this day and age is stressful and this stress may keep people up at night. Every individual is overworked and overscheduled, trying to meet endless deadlines. Despite having days planned and packed down to the minute, a lot of folks have a lot of trouble getting decent shut eye. Some people may have a different kind of sleep related issue. They do not have any problems falling asleep, but more so staying asleep.

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