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 holiday. 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 distant 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 Chornobyl, 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 3 pm 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 increases the 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 my 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!

You might also like to consider

The Dodow – A New Approach to getting to Sleep

If you can’t fall asleep because of anxiety or an overactive mind, or if you are a ruminator who can’t stop thinking about something that happened 10 years ago, then Dodow might the answer you are looking for.

To be clear from the outset, the Dodow is not a cure for insomnia, however with so many people now claiming that because if it they are now having good, restful sleep, it’s worth reading on to see how it works.

Quite simply, Dodow is designed to help your mind enter a relaxed state and subsequently help you fall asleep quicker. 

This small round device uses a soothing light that ebbs and flows to guide your breathing at the Dodow rhythm, which is 6 breaths per minute (we usually breathe on average 11 breathes per min). So, you breathe in when the light glows and breathe out when the light goes. At this rhythm you stimulate a physiological mechanism called the baroreflex which rebalances the nervous system. This allows you to transition from an alert state to a resting state. 

The mind enters a safe and common focused state when you synchronise your breathing to the light pulse at the Dodow rhythm. Ideally, after a few minutes of this breathing, your mind will let go and you will drift off to sleep.

What is dodow?

Psychologically, Dodow is designed to distract you from your many thoughts with something that is far more relaxing. You might not fall asleep straight away on the first night, but many people have said they have seen great results in just a week of using it. Eventually, your body will learn how to put itself to sleep properly and you won’t need the help of the Dodow. 

What’s great about Dodow is that there is place for it in everyone’s bedroom as we’ve all had nights where we just can’t switch off. The Dodow can be used every night for chronic insomniacs and people with high levels of anxiety, as well as by people who just want to use it for a night or two every so often due to a rough day or jet lag. It’s very versatile.

Dodow is also great for children who have trouble sleeping, as the concept is easy enough for them to follow and makes for a helpful piece of a relaxing bed time routine. Much more zen than counting sheep!

The device takes about 20 mins to set up. It starts off with an 8 min cycle, and if you run your finger over the surface again it will run a 20 min cycle. You don’t have to turn the machine off, you can drift away to sleep and it will turn off by itself.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, how can I sleep with my eyes open, with blue light illuminating my room? Just to be clear, this device is designed to get you into a relaxed state where your body will allows itself to go to sleep naturally. The device will not directly put you to sleep.

The light is not too bright and can be adjusted to your personal preference. Some people may think the blue light of the device is not good for inducing sleep, however the device does not target the circadian rhythms. If you suffer from circadian rhythm sleep disorders such as Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome than this device may not be suitable for you. However, if you suffer from sleeplessness due to anxiety and an overactive mind, it can work wonders!

A few things to consider…

For best usage, Dodow needs to be positioned at least two feet away from the wall or in the middle of your room; otherwise, the wall can distort the light projection. 

The product does not offer free returns, but give it a red hot go before you decided you don’t like it because it does take a little getting used to. In my opinion, the results are definitely worth it.

You can purchase the product on Amazon:

Dodow Reviews
Amazon buy now

And if you love it so much you want to take it on your travels, you can also get a cool travel case for it:

Dodow Travel Case
Amazon buy now

If you have used Dodow in the past or are using it now, comment below and let me know your thoughts and experience.

Bose Noise-Masking Sleep Buds- Review

Bose Sleep Bud Review

In my relentless research for products that promote getting a good night’s sleep, I came across the Bose Noise-Masking Sleep Buds.

Bose is a company that is renowned for products that deliver quality sound, and this time they are kind of doing something that goes against tradition. I have always been an advocate of getting to the bottom of sleep related issues such as snoring, but I understand these things don’t magically correct themselves over night. It takes time, and time means dealing with a little more of your partner’s snoring.

So, while your partner tries to curb their snoring, these little gems are a great at cleaning up all the noise pollution in your room at night- you can finally get a peaceful night’s sleep!

Bose SleepbudsOkay, I know what you’re thinking, aren’t these just expensive glorified ear plugs? No. Bose are leaders in sound technology and have put a great deal of thought into this product. To clarify, these earbuds are not designed for noise cancellation, instead the noise-masking earbuds are pre-loaded with soothing sounds that mask other sounds such as snoring, traffic, partying neighbours. You can drift away into a slumber and get a solid night’s sleep.

They come in three sizes and fit snugly into the ear. There are no cords that need to be plugged in while in use so they are completely wireless. They also come with rechargeable batteries and have a wake alarm, which is great because you could easily keep sleeping with these in your ears.

The earbuds are supported by the Bose Sleep app, which makes it easy to customise your settings such as selecting your favourite sounds, the volume, how long you want it to play for and you also set your alarm, which only you can hear.

Bose Noise-Masking Sleep Buds are definitely on my Christmas list this year. You can purchase them too on Amazon:

Bose Noise-Masking Sleep Buds Review

Amazon buy now

I hope you found this product review interesting. If you come across any products that have helped you get a good night’s sleep, let us know by leaving a comment.

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Naturally the rapid advancement of technology has messed up our body clocks. A bunch of tech-genius kids recognised this and designed apps that can assist overstressed, overworked and overscheduled individuals track our sleep health and help us get in and out of bed on time.

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