Tag Archives: sleep

Further Reading: The Power of Napping

As important as a good night’s sleep is, the power of napping is undeniable when done right. Due to a pervasive 24-hour culture, napping has an unwarranted social stigma and association with laziness, which can lead to guilt and burnout. However, done the right way, a nap can be an essential boost to your day, helping you both mentally and physically. We’ve compiled some of the best tips and interesting facts about napping to help guide you to the land of quick nods.

The power of napping and sleep cycles

Napping has huge benefits to both brain and body, including (but not limited to): memory, mood, learning ability, alertness, productivity, blood pressure and even weight management. However, the timing of naps has to be considered in order to get the best results by working with humans’ natural sleep cycles and therefore avoiding oversleeping and drowsiness.

Link [via io9]

The benefits of a quick nap are generally determined by the length of the nap. Shorter naps are best for staving off tiredness, whilst longer naps can give a longer boost to your day. Knowing sleep cycles is an important way of determining the length of time for a nap.

Link [via The Art of Manliness]

Knowing how and when to nap

Not everybody needs to nap, and if you are needing the type of sleep which naps cannot fulfil, then you may need to examine your sleep patterns and habits in more depth rather than papering over the cracks by napping.

Link [via Time]

Once you’ve familiarised yourself with sleep cycles and whether you need to nap or not, it’s time to settle down and get ready to get the most out of your nap. Whether it’s a one-off or habitual nap, preparing the right environment for a nap is crucial to experience its benefits.

Link [via Lifehacker]

Napping in history and around the world

The most famous type of nap is most likely the siesta. This habit has a long and fascinating history, which stretches far beyond Spain and far into our ancient history.

Link [via Slumberwise]

Sleep Disturbance Caused by Gadget Exposure

A recent Norwegian sleep disturbance study of 9,846 16 to 19-year olds has discovered something that is fast becoming fact: exposure to light from TVs, laptops, smartphones and tablet screens affects sleeping patterns and sleep quality.

Teenagers in the study who spent more than four hours per day exposed to screens had a 49% increased risk of falling asleep later and having difficulty in doing so.  Their risk of sleeping for under five hours was also increased by three and half times.

The vast majority of participants in the study were exposed to some form of electronic device an hour before bedtime. This has prompted researchers to advise at least an hour of screen free time before sleep, and for parents to be especially alert of the risk to their children’s quality of sleep.

 

The researchers have highlighted that the effects of using screens close to bedtime may not just be intruding on sleep, but could also be affecting the nervous system and internal body clock.  As well as the recommendation to individuals to avoid screen time before bed, the researchers are asking public heath agencies to review their own guidelines. The report concludes that “The results demonstrate a negative relation between use of technology and sleep, suggesting that recommendations on healthy media use could include restrictions on electronic devices.”

Technology has become a permanent part of the everyday human experience, and more proof of its disruptive influence on sleep is coming in with studies such as these.

 

Scottish Government Develops App for Mental Wellbeing

An internal team within the Scottish Government‘s Directorate of Health & Social Care Integration have developed a free app for mental wellbeing. Developed in collaboration with NHS24 and New Media Scotland, the Ginsberg app has a “mission is to improve mental health and wellbeing through new technologies.”

App for Mental Wellbeing - CycleThe app is named after the poet Allen Ginsberg, and inspired by his quote “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness”. The Ginsberg app aims to help users track behaviour and mood patterns and give insight into how the two are interlinked.

The app provides a platform to log physical activity, quality/length of sleep, diet and mood. Data is collected over time and provides insight into patterns and triggers so users can “feel more in control with what is going on.”

Available for both Apple and Android, you can sign up to Ginsberg for free here.