Tag power nap

7 Tips for an Alert, Energetic, & Enjoyable Monday


receptionist

Have you noticed how sleepy, tired, lethargic, and complacent you feel on Mondays? Medical studies indeed have shown reduced productivity and increased errors on Mondays secondary to disrupted sleep schedule on weekends.

Here is how you can enjoy and excel at work even on Mondays.

  1. Keep moving. Staying physically active all day will energize your Mondays. Exercise in the morning. Take stairs at work. Go for an evening walk. Do deskercize.
  2. Face the light. Look at the bright light in the morning both at home and at work as light has alerting influence.
  3. Take a PREM nap. A 15 min power nap will provide you alertness, energy, vitality, and vigor lasting for 155 minutes. Leave some room on your schedule for it preferably in the afternoon.
  4. Get a relaxing massage. Insufficient sleep results in aches and pains which can be easily treated with a relaxing massage, which can be combined with a nap if the situation permits.
  5. Snack smartly. Eat high protein snacks. Avoid heavy meals on Mondays especially at lunch. Grilled or baked fish or chicken is great. Avoid rice, pasta, and dessert as it can make afternoon sleepiness worse.
  6. Consume caffeine judiciously. Caffeine has alerting properties, but it should be consumed sparingly as it can rob you of your deep sleep. Avoid caffeine after 1 PM.
  7. Seek spiritual support. You are going against the might of Mother Nature trying to excel and enjoy Mondays with disrupted sleep schedule and sleep debt. Tap into your enormous spiritual reservoir. At every unguarded moment, look up and say, “Help me God serve my customers with joy.”
Have a wonderful week. Sleep Well, Lead Well.

Tired in The Afternoon? 5 Tips from Your Sleep Doc | Yatin J. Patel


Work place drowsiness is less obvious than this but equally disastrous.

Workplace drowsiness is less apparent than this but equally disastrous.

Eliminate the MADness (Mid Afternoon Drowsiness)

The majority of mammalian species have a second sleep period during the daytime because of the mid-afternoon dip in alertness. This dip in the alertness in the middle of our working day causes a decline in our productivity and, more importantly, creates an environment conducive to disastrous mistakes. The following graph depicts the number of sleep-related accidents and their time of occurrence. Please note the steep increase in accidents between one o’clock and three o’clock.

The incidence of sleep-related vehicle accidents (n=606) by hour of day. BMJ 1995; 310: 565 Sleep-related vehicle accidents. JA Horne, professor, LA Reyner, research associate, Sleep Research Laboratory, Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU.

Why does this occur? Well, our internal pacemaker, Suprachiasmatic nucleus located at the base of the brain makes us sleepy in the mid-afternoon. Fighting this tiny structure will take discipline and persistence, but this can improve your executive output by thirty percent and can eliminate disastrous decision making.

First, you have to recognize this decline in alertness and in productivity. Look for it and you shall find complacency and chaos, disastrous decision-making, and combustible communication post-lunch. Keep these tips in mind to help you get through the mid-afternoon madness:

  1. Keep moving. Pace the floor. If you are in a meeting, flex and extend your ankles. Take a trip to the restroom.
  2. Look at the light. Sit facing the sun. Minimize power point use if giving a presentation. Turn the slides off and turn the lights on every ten minutes.
  3. Eat a light lunch. If you avoid carbohydrates, you will not feel sluggish at the next afternoon meeting. Your head will be able to think clearly and handle crucial decision making duties.
  4. Use caffeine judiciously. It can improve your alertness but can rob you of your deep sleep at night as it has duration of action of 24 hours.
  5. Take a fifteen-minute power nap. It will go a long way in improving your performance as a leader. Studies have shown that a fifteen-minute power nap can improve alertness, decision-making, creativity, communication, perception, situational awareness, and problem-solving for 150 minutes.

If you follow these tips, you can maximize alertness even in the afternoon.

What has your experience been? Have you noticed sluggishness, errors, omissions, complacency, and chaos around mid-afternoon? What tips do you follow to overcome mid-afternoon madness? How did you overcome the cultural stigma associated with napping?

Happy Leading!

Tired? Sleepy? Exhausted? Take a PREM Nap!


A fifteen minute PREM nap can rejuvenate your afternoons and evenings.

 

Technique of a Conventional Power Nap

Following tips will you help you rejuvenate your day with a 15 minute power nap.
• Proudly let your staff know that you will be taking a fifteen-minute nap. “Doctor’s orders,” you may add.
• Set your Smartphone alarm, preferably on vibrate, to go off in fifteen minutes. A study from Australia has shown that napping for less than ten minutes is suboptimal. More than twenty minutes can be counterproductive because of post-nap grogginess.
• Turn on relaxing music. You can try noise-canceling headphones. Bose are the best.
• Put on eye shades. I find my Notre Dame cap very useful, especially when taking a nap in the public place. I just pull it down over my eyes, and I am off to the land of dreams.
• Stretch on the couch or recline in the chair. Turn the chair away from people and toward the window or wall. A study from China showed greater benefit with stretching on the couch as opposed to sitting.
• Close your eyes, shut off your mind, and relax.
• Wake up with a smile and vigor when the alarm goes off.

A REM nap improves creative problem solving by a whopping 40 percent. A very interesting study done by Dr. Sara Mednik and her team at University of California, San Diego, looked at creative problem solving before and after a nap. Participants were given three words and asked to find a word that can link all of the three words, for example, sixteen, candy, and heart. The answer is sweet: sweet sixteen, sweet candy, and sweet heart. There was an amazing 40 percent improvement after a nap containing REM sleep.

Remember that REM sleep has an active brain in a paralyzed body. Mother Nature made it so we do not act out our dreams. Also, studies have shown that REM sleep has a tremendous amount of random, bizarre, and seemingly unrelated activity going on, which our brain is trying to connect together to make some sense of it. Some researchers believe this is why REM nap is able to boost creative problem solving by linking these random and totally unrelated activities together. This is the wildest and craziest form of thinking outside the box. Studies have shown that REM sleep plays a pivotal role in memory consolidation, too.

Can we do better than just lie down and relax for fifteen minutes? Can we modify our technique to make our nap more restorative, more recuperative, and more energizing? I think we can by adding just a few steps to our conventional nap. I should clarify that these recommendations are not based on any specific scientific studies, but my experience as a practicing sleep specialist and lifelong nap-taker.

Let us learn to take PREM (Patel’s Relaxed Eye Muscles) nap.

Read a couple of lines from the Bible, Gita or any other religious book before the nap. You can store them on your Smartphone and read them before setting up the fifteen-minute alarm. REM sleep, the sleep stage with vivid dreams, unfortunately, has predominantly negative emotions like fear, anxiety, guilt, and anger. Here, we are trying to replace them with joy, optimism, love, and faith. Matthew 18:23–26, says, “Have faith in God. I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Luke 6:27–36 says, “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also.”

• Begin your nap with five to ten slow, deep, and regular breaths. Control of breathing is control of life. Breathing, unlike heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and gastrointestinal motility/secretions, is the only vital function that we can easily control. And it is a time-tested tool used for centuries to achieve relaxation.

• Progressive muscle relaxation is incompatible with somatic anxiety. So, by focusing on respiration and relaxation, we are getting rid of anxiety, both from our conscious and our subconscious. As you breathe in and out, relax the muscles of your eyeballs and then continue to relax all the other muscles from head to toe and drift down into a state of pleasant relaxation. And when the alarm goes off, wake up with tremendous positive energy.

I call this my PREM nap! This revolutionary power nap taps into REM sleep’s restorative power and limitless creativity.

Please watch this seven minute instructional video and start regaining your afternoons and evenings.

Happy Napping!

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