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For High Productivity, Take a Nap

Naps are better than caffeine for improving verbal memory, motor skills, and perceptual learning

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A study by researchers Sara Mednick, Denise Cai, Jennifer Kanady, and Sean Drummond published in Behavioural Brain Research (2008) found that naps are better than caffeine for improving verbal memory, motor skills, and perceptual learning.

Many people avoid napping during the day to not interfere with a good night’s sleep. “Why should I sleep now,” they might ask, “if it’s only going to make me toss and turn in bed tonight?” Actually, naps can be helpful in recovering from sleep deprivation, refreshing your energy supply, and reducing stress. Naps can do more harm than good, however, when taken at the wrong time or for the wrong amount of time.

The “When” of Napping

So, when to nap? Health.com advises that the preferred time to experience deep sleep is between noon and 2 pm. Naps at other times of the day tend to not be as deep, and therefore will not be as refreshing.

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Alternatively, according to Dr. Jack Eddiger at Duke University, the ideal time to take a nap is between 1 pm and 3 pm to 4 pm. These guidelines particularly apply to weekdays. Dr. Eddiger further suggests setting a timer to keep your nap to 20 minutes or less. In that time frame, you can awake refreshed, and more easily resume what you were doing. Longer than 20 minutes and you run the risk of entering into deeper REM sleep. Thereafter, you might need a while to return to where you need to be mentally.

Refreshed or Groggy? – Experts at the National Sleep Foundation concur that when you nap prior to 3 pm, you’re less likely to incur difficulties falling asleep that night. The journal Sleep published a study concurring that shorter naps can be more beneficial. A 10-minute nap both diminishes sleepiness and improves cognitive performance. A 30-minute nap or longer can result in lingering grogginess.

When napping, seek a dark, cool place, in any comfortable position. Once you find the perfect nap time for you, you’ll find that your mood, productivity, attitude, and energy increase. When you start experimenting with your nap hours and your nap lengths, don’t be surprised if you can succeed outside of the recommended guidelines.

Where oh, Where

When you do nap, choose a cot or a bed, versus a chair, in a location where you won’t be disturbed. If at home, hang a sign to tell others in advance. You’ll find that the quality of your nap is higher and the benefits to you will be apparent.

Forbes reports that some high-powered executives and CEOs, whose names are well known, are advocates of taking naps. Many have elaborate napping procedures, knowing that once they awake, they’re ready to jump back into the fray to do great work.

Beware: Naps are not to be used as a substitute for getting the right amount of sleep each night. They are a supplement. It is not ideal to be taking naps to make up for sleep that you missed during the night. In fact, that misses the point altogether.

Weekend Naps

What about napping on the weekend? Generally speaking, it’s okay, and you can loosen up on the time intervals and the length of the nap. Presumably, on the weekend, you have more flexibility. Nevertheless, don’t nap too late in the afternoon or approaching the early evening, if you intend to get to bed at a reasonable hour. You can let the 4 pm guideline slip, but don’t go much past five or six.

An exception is when you have a late night activity planned. For example, when you’re heading out to a social gathering at 9 pm or 10 pm, a nap as late as 7 pm could be to your advantage. You’ll have the alertness and energy to fully participate in the event, even if it extends past midnight.

Napping later in the afternoon or in the early evening is a useful strategy when you’re going to watch a television program that you know will run long. In the U.S., most major events, including the World Series, Academy Awards, Grammys, and NBA finals are scheduled to start at 9 pm on the east coast and 6 pm on the west coast. Hence, Californians have no real issues in finishing the telecast. East coasters, who want to watch the end, can benefit from a nap of a couple hours before a telecast begins.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Life

With Representatives Like Kelly Daughtry, We Can Take Back America

Daughtry is a soft-spoken woman who gets things done

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When President Trump takes office next January 20th, he’s going to need a cadre of strong-willed Congressional representatives. It’s not enough to simply retake the White House, we need the foot soldiers with the unshakeable resolve to restore America.

In North Carolina’s 13th district, one candidate is firmly rooted in the values that made this country great, and will make it great again. Her name is Kelly Daughtry and, quite frankly, the nation needs many others like her.

Raised in rural North Carolina and the daughter of a U.S. veteran, farmer, lawyer, and entrepreneur, Daughtry has been a practicing lawyer for the past 25 years in Johnston County, where she makes her home. She’s been in the trenches and is not skittish about the slings and arrows that come with taking bold, conservative positions for what is right.

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Clear Positions on Vital Issues

Daughtry is exceedingly clear on where she stands and on what will improve the lives of American citizens. She is a vigorous supporter of law enforcement and decries ‘de-fund the police’ movements wherever they arise. She understands that, by and large, the men and women in law enforcement are dedicated, hardworking individuals who, in many instances, put their lives on the line.

Similarly, Daughtry supports the U.S. military and our veterans. She knows that nations around the world with rogue leadership wish to do us great harm, and that we must maintain a strong military at all times. Not coincidentally, a strong military is the best prescription for peace.

On the border issue, Daughtry recognizes that the Biden Administration is firmly committed to swamping our country with illegal aliens. Why? Because the U.S. Census count doesn’t focus on U.S. citizenship, only the number of residents per county and state.

Hence, Democrats can gain a 20-seat advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives by continuing to flood our nation. This ploy is precisely why Biden and company have brought lawsuits against border states seeking to protect themselves.

The drugs, the crime — the murders — and the bursting budgets of towns and states trying to cope with the onslaught of illegals should never have happened in the first place. Daughtry knows what needs to be done, and done immediately.

Reversing Biden’s Reckless Agenda

Daughtry will go to work on restoring our nation, dismantling Joe Biden’s reckless agenda for America. She understands that Biden’s policies towards China in particular, and the bribes he has taken, have been nothing less than devastating for hard-working Americans and for our national security.

Most notably, she is firmly opposed to the Chinese Communist Party and their representatives who are seeking to buy farmland throughout North Carolina as well as every other place in the United States.

Biden’s out-of-control spending has particularly hurt North Carolinians. Farmers have taken the brunt of the punishment. The unending inflation that we’ve faced for 38 months also has dealt a crushing blow to North Carolina small business owners and families in general. One of Daughtry’s first agenda items will be to help steer our country back towards fiscal sanity, which in turn will have a direct impact on the cost of groceries and gasoline.

Americans First

Like President Trump, Daughtry understands the importance of putting Americans first and of safeguarding or voting procedures, elections, and indeed what it means to be an American citizen. Of note, she has no misconceptions about the differences between men and women and will work to stop the malarkey that the Left imposes on us every day, with their “56” types of genders.

Daughtry is a soft-spoken woman and in her quiet way, gets things done. If Donald Trump had an army of Kelly Daughtrys, the country would be on firm footing in relatively short order. She knows what hard-working Americans want and need, and is exactly the type of politician that North Carolina must send to Washington D.C.

It is not an exaggeration to say that in Wake, Harnett, Johnson, and Wayne counties in North Carolina, as well as the entire state and entire country, the 2024 election will be the most important in our lifetimes. This has been said about other elections at other times, but considering the damage that the Democrats have wrought on America, the time is now to reclaim our great nation and, with the likes of Kelly Daughtry, we can.

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Life

Provocative Questions to Get You Moving

What would make you pause and think about what’s really important?

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Suppose I asked you four questions to make you pause, think about what’s really important, perhaps take some action steps, and get you moving in a positive direction. What might I ask?

Here are four such questions:

* What would you do if you truly only had six months to live?

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* What would you read if you could only pick six books for the rest of your life?

* If you could return to any age what would it be?

* If you could live anywhere other than here, where would it be?

 

By way of example, here is each question with my own answers to help stimulate your thinking:

What would I do if I truly only had six months to live? I would visit everyone who ever mattered to me one more time; visit all my childhood haunts; visit three or four tourist destinations in the world that I’ve wanted to see; eat like an incredible pig; parcel out my assets carefully and accordingly, safeguard my daughter’s financial future and well-being to the best of my abilities; and donate many items to charity.

If I could only read six books for the rest of my life, they would probably be The Timetables of History, Childhood’s End, The Call of the Wild, The One Hundred, From Dawn to Decadence, and The Culture of Celebrity. Runners-up would be The Demon-Haunted World, Crime and Punishment, Moby Dick, MacBeth, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and The World of Our Fathers

If I could be any age what would I be: 38, because at that age I had the optimal mix of capabilities and faculties, unbounded potential, and unbridled enthusiasm. My career as an author was beginning to bloom and amazingly I hadn’t yet been on my first of 45 cruises.

If I could live anywhere other than here, where would it be and why aren’t I there? The places I could settle include Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Monterrey, CA; Sausalito, CA; Tucson, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; Paris, France; Vevey, Switzerland; Montreux, Switzerland; Bruges, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Gothenburg, Sweden; Stockholm, Sweden, and any place where it is spring, birds are chirping, and large lakes invite you to swim.

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