Archive for the ‘nap’ Category

News To Know About Power Napping

April 11, 2015

My mother, St. Sara (the only Jewish saint!) had a habit of taking a 15-20 minute nap every afternoon and then she had a recharged battery and was able to be exuberant and energetic for 5-6 additional hours. Naps can be quite beneficial to most people who already sleep well at night.

Americans are a sleep-deprived nation. Naps can improve our overall daily functioning. This blog will discuss the benefits of afternoon napping.

Naps can be very beneficial for workplace performance. Short naps have been routinely demonstrated to reduce accidents and mistakes while also improving attention, concentration, performance and alertness. Naps also help boost your mood and ability to manage stress. Naps can be used proactively to gain energy for a late night out. They can even be used effectively to combat drowsy driving when a short snooze is taken just before getting behind the wheel or using heavy machinery.

Routine, planned naps are necessary for some people, while others find that taking an occasional nap when sleepy might be all that is needed. For example, patients with narcolepsy find that planned short naps are crucial to managing their sleepiness every day.

Although it seems simple to take a nap, there are a few tricks to optimize the benefits of a midday snooze. Here are a few tricks from Dr. Oz to getting in a great power nap.

  1. Short, 20-minute power naps are generally much better than longer ones since longer naps cause you to get into deeper stages of sleep, leading to an increased feeling of grogginess upon awakening. Longer naps can also interfere with nighttime sleep. Shorter naps are typically refreshing and can help increase alertness for a few hours.
  1. Make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable, quiet, dark and cool. If you are at home, try to nap only in your bed. If you aren’t at home, find a place where you can either lie down or recline. Block as much light as possible coming into the room (or get a light-blocking eye mask), and consider using a white noise machine, fan or silicone earplugs to block the noise around you.
  2. Power naps taken before 2 p.m. tend not to interfere as much with nighttime sleep, so earlier naps are better. If you find that you have trouble sleeping at night, avoid napping during the day.

Bottom Line: Getting enough sleep is important to our health and well being. Taking a short afternoon nap is an excellent to recharge our batteries just like my mother, St. Sara, was able to do for her whole life.

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10 New Years Resolutions You Can “Live” With

January 5, 2013

New Years resolutions are made and many are aborted in days or weeks after January 1. Here are 10 suggestions for better health that you can probably keep. If you do, you will probably have a longer and happier life.

1. Celebrate with a friend
People with social connections with family and friends are less likely to experience a decline in ability to reason and remember. Social activity may help preserve your ability to perform your day-to-day activities as you age.

2. Get a pet
People who own pets have healthier hearts and make fewer visits to the doctor. Dogs make better exercise partners than birds, as they want to go for a daily walk.

3. Chew some chocolate
Chocolate is now considered the darling of the heart healthy diet family. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which is a natural anti-oxidant that helps the body’s cells resist damage that may contribute to cancer.

4. Embrace your cup of coffee
Regular or decaf coffee appears to lower the risk of dying from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and pneumonia. Coffee also protects against skin cancer, liver damage, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. One study purported that three cups of coffee a day may protect against Alzheimer’s disease or delay its onset.

5. Wine is wonderful
A glass of either red or white wine is heart-healthy. Even beer is good for the heart. The key to drinking either wine or beer is moderation-one glass a day for women; two glass a day for men.
6. Sex-A little is good, more is better
The damaging myth about older adults is that aging means putting your sex life on the back burner. Sex is good for you regardless of your age if it is safe sex. Sex causes the brain to release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that act as painkillers and reduce anxiety. Sex also bolsters the immune system. More sex is also associated lower levels of depression.

7. Music is medicinal
Music boosts mood and reduces anxiety and even makes it possible to get a good nights sleep. Studies show that people feel less pain and need less pain medications after surgery if they listen to music while recuperating.

8. Nap like a baby
A mid afternoon nap can improve mood, memory alertness and learning. A 20 minute nap improves alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy. Sipping a cup of coffee before closing your eyes will help you wake up alert. It takes about 20 minutes for caffeine to enter the blood stream, so its effects start to kick in when you wake up.

9 Say hello to nature
Being around nature for as little as five minutes a day can boost your mood and sense of well-being.

10. Select a healthy soap
Soaps that contain antibacterial triclosan, which are no more effective than plain soaps, may be harmful. Washing your hands in warm water with plain soap for 20 seconds will be just as effective as using expensive antibacterial soaps.

Bottom Line: Ponce de Leon scoured the coast of Florida for what he hoped was the legendary fountain of youth. Five centuries later, no one has found the fountain of youth, but we can add youth to our aging process by just adhering to these 10 health resolutions. Happy New Year to all of my friends, family, and followers.