Categories
Health Life & Philosophy

Rewind, reset, refresh

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The daily grind requires that we rest to reboot.

We can only plunge into the day with renewed intensity long enough until the batteries run out.

To get on with life and the business of living, we need to dream to sleep.

Quieted attention reawakens the brain state so we can make connections previously unmoored.

We wake up feeling fresh before wade into discomfort and vulnerability in the new day ahead once again.

Should you need further help in optimizing your daily life as it relates to sleep or other mental wellness matters, be sure to check out BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers access to thousands of online therapists that are specially trained to provide you with the highest standard of quality mental health care. 

Categories
Productivity & Work

Ready, rock steady

gif via Reddit

The more you work the more you make, at least it appears that way. But Søren Kierkegaard thought wiser:

“Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work.”

Søren Kierkegaard

Henry Miller also disdained to overwork:

“I’ve found that it isn’t necessary to work that much. It’s bad, in fact. You drain the reservoir.”

Henry Miller

More work may beget more money but also creates more stress, which may negatively impact productivity. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break or a vacation and letting the mind run on its own.

Even during those dull moments your mind is working, jettisoning the bad ideas and retaining the good ones much like a washing machine. This process intensifies during sleep.

Pace your work. Focus and relax once in a while and allow the brain to sort out the connections. Slow and steady wins the race.

Categories
Health Science

‘Short sleep predicts a shorter life’

I never sleep/because sleep is the cousin of death.

Nas, ‘New York State of Mind’

Everyone knows sleep is critical few people prioritize it. Some folks think it’s a badge of honor to get five hours a night. But your brain literally eats itself when you don’t sleep. 

Sleep is a ‘non-negotiable biological necessity.’

And why not get a few extra 💤? We’re all geniuses when we dream.

Categories
Science

Dozing off into the brief unconscious 😴

When the sleepy participants’ eyes closed in “microsleep,” a.k.a. dozing, the researchers saw reduced activity in the thalamus, the part of the brain responsible for relaying sensory and motor signals to other parts of the brain. The thalamus is also responsible for regulating sleep (and the same effect was found in the scans of rested participants) so this part isn’t very surprising.

But more surprisingly, the researchers saw increased activity in the parts of the brain associated with sensory processing, which could account for the vivid images that seem to spring up when you first drop off to sleep. The researchers also observed more activity in the frontal parietal lobe, responsible for helping you pay attention, likely as a result of the brain’s attempt (and failure) to obey the “stay awake” command.

Read Parts Of Your Brain Go Berzerk On Microsleep

Categories
Productivity & Work Science

How taking an afternoon ‘nappuccino’ increases productivity ☕💤

This post may contain sponsored links. Please see the disclosure for more info.

Like most people, my brain starts to fizzle out between 2 and 3pm. According to science, this isn’t due to a lunch hangover but rather a part of our circadian rhythm.

To preempt the inevitable afternoon slothfulness, author Dan Pink proposes to take a nappuccino. He recommends that before you take your 20-minute nap (science shows that more than 20 minutes can make you feel drowsier), you should drink a cup of coffee.

Writes Pink in his new book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing:

The caffeine won’t fully engage in your bloodstream for about 25 minutes, so drink up right before you lie down.

The pre-nap caffeination will give you an extra boost when you wake up. Your brain will be sharper and more focused. You’ll also receive all the benefits of a nap: lower blood pressure and a stronger heart.

You can read more about the nappuccino productivity hack here.

For further tips on optimizing productivity levels and managing stress, be sure to check out the gamut of resources from BetterHelp, the largest online therapy & counseling platform in the world.

Categories
Science

‘Dreaming is like a psychological thermostat’ 🛌

Your brain works like a dishwasher when you sleep, cleaning out the dirty information and tidying up the important stuff.

But the mind also creates a theater inside your head. Dreams emerge from unrestricted consciousness. They remind us that the rational imagination can be soo sober.

Writes Emil Cioran in The Temptation to Exist

‘Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher’s the poet’s equal there.’

Emil Cioran
Categories
Books Productivity & Work Psychology

Why we need sleep 😴

gif TS_Abe

“Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory, makes you more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?”

That revolutionary new treatment is sleep. Even jellyfish get sluggish when they don’t get enough.

Looking forward to reading this: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Read The Guardian’s review.

Categories
Creativity Psychology

The key to good ideas? Rest.

A good idea doesn’t come when you’re doing a million things. The good idea comes in the moment of rest. It comes in the shower. It comes when you’re doodling or playing trains with your son. It’s when your mind is on the other side of things.

Lin Manuel Miranda

Never feel guilty about taking a break. Not only should you plan unscheduled time, you should also invest in a good night’s rest.

The dormant mind is an active one. More rest = bigger ideas.

The key to good ideas? Rest.
via giphy
Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Taming the restless mind

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It was all a dream. (image via Cris Saur)

Our mind manufactures time. It fills the present moment with things to do so we don’t have to listen to each tick-tock.
 
Yet the ‘tension’ that arises from the time we shut our eyes until we fall sleep reminds us that we’re still alive.
 
Dreaming sustains the active mind and pauses time. The alarm clock reboots our consciousness once again.

Read:The secret life of time

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Gardening the brain with a good night’s rest

sleeping brain
Sleep refreshes the brain

Your brain works like a dishwasher when you sleep, cleaning out the dirty information and tidying up the important stuff. You can also think of the sleeping mind as working as a garden, growing “synaptic connections between neurons” so neurotransmitters can pass through.

“Your brain cleans itself out when you sleep—your brain cells shrinking by up to 60% to create space for your glial gardeners to come in take away the waste and prune the synapses.”

Sleeping permits the glial gardeners, also called “microglial cells,” to sweep through your brain and make space for learning new information. A well-rested brain is like walking gracefully through the park. On the other hand, a tired brain leaves it cloudy.

“Thinking with a sleep-deprived brain is like hacking your way through a dense jungle with a machete. Its overgrown, slow going, exhausting.”

The brain also recycles synaptic connections during sleep. Thinking about positive things throughout the day will help keep those thoughts top of mind. Meanwhile, harping on jealousy or hatred will make the brain cling to unwanted trash.

“To take advantage of your brain’s natural gardening system, simply think about the things that are important to you. Your gardeners will strengthen those connections and prune the ones that you care about less. It’s how you help the garden of your brain flower.”

You are what you think about all day, which gets reinforced during sleep. Be mindful of the memories you want to keep and forget the rest, letting the brain delete the crap.

Your Brain Has A “Delete” Button—Here’s How To Use It