The Power of Naps

Power Naps are a great way to boost your energy in the middle of the day!

If you are feeling drowsy and tired and still have a ton of homework to do, take a 20-30 minute power nap! It doesn’t take too much time and helps increase productivity.

1. They are most effective if they last 15-20 minutes;
2. They are good of alertness and motor performance
3. BETTER than caffeine. Caffeine just postpones your fatigue, while power naps actually get rid of it.

Best time of day to take a nap: 1-3 p.m. If taken after 4 p.m., you may disturb your sleep at night.

Sources + More Info: 1, 2, 3

Happy napping!

Sleep Cycles

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Lately I’ve been so exhausted, it’s crazy. However, I found a simple solution to waking up refreshed and energetic every time: the REM cycle concept.

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night? Just kind of acknowledged the fact that you’re awake and it’s not yet time to get up, and then went straight back to sleep? Chances are, it wasn’t any noise that woke you up- you simply finished one of your REM cycles. Sometimes what happens to me is if I wake up during the night, hang out for a little bit and try to go back to bed, I’ll feel too awake to fall asleep right away. This means that the key to feeling super awake and energetic in the morning is waking up at the end of any REM cycle.That way, no matter how many hours you have slept (or haven’t slept!), you will not interrupt your sleep in the middle of the cycle and force yourself out of bed.

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Another cool thing I learned the other day is that the earlier you go to bed, the more valuable those early hours of sleep are. For example, Napoleon only slept for 5 hours each night, and for a grown man and a crazy awesome leader that’s obviously not enough. The solution to this problem is that the sleep you get from about 9 pm to 10 pm is equivalent to 3 or even 4 hours of sleep at 5 am. So, as the night continues, the value of those hours will drop down. In the end, the time you sleep from 5 am to 6 am will equal to 30 minutes. Maybe that’s why it’s not such a good idea to pull all-nighters before tests!

In addition to that, my boyfriend showed me this wonderful website (first thing Google gives you) called Sleepy Time, which can tell you exactly when to fall asleep (make sure to give yourself 10-15 minutes) if you need to wake up at a certain time.It also works the other way around- if you fall asleep now, when is it “safe” to get up? There is probably a million apps that can do the job as well.

Here is a list of apps that work the same way as Sleepy Time:

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (Apple)

Sleep Bot- Sleep Cycle Alarm (Android)

Sleepy Time (Windows)

You don’t have to read EVERYTHING

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Recently, all the reading assignments have been SO overwhelming.  I complained to a friend about how much reading we are assigned (for one class, we have to read 4 chapters a week each about 50-60 pages long… ), she told me something that completely shocked me: that I don’t have to read in order to get a good grade. I was so surprised, because obviously you don’t have to read anything, you can always wing it, but the idea of getting a good grade without reading sounded a little weird. 

Her point was that if the lecture covers the exact same material as in the book, you don’t need to learn it twice. It might take a couple of weeks to figure this out, but compared to how much time you’ll save, it’s nothing. So the idea is that you just have to listen very closely to what is said on the lecture, write down notes and try to process everything right then. However, if you don’t understand the concepts or whatever you’re studying, it won’t hurt to look at the readings. If that doesn’t help, you can panic and go get help (always an option!).

Of course, this doesn’t work for every single class. This “technique” completely depends on what is taught in the class and how much the professor misses from the readings. I will give you an example.

I am currently taking two classes: physics and psychology. They are both beginner levels (110 and 101), so they are not very hard. But because they are introductory classes, there’s a TON of information to learn and process. My physics professor is actually very boring. He takes the exact same material as he assigns us to read and just goes over it with a PowerPoint presentation. I think even the examples are the same, from the book. So….I haven’t opened the textbook in about 6 weeks now (I’m not proud, but I am). My average score on the tests is 94% and all I do is listen to the lecture and take notes. The psychology professor, on the other hand, teaches us some information that’s not in the book and expects us to know every little thing from the chapter readings. Both of them are on the tests, so there is absolutely no way around them. So in this class, I actually read and take notes on the chapter in the end. This seems to work now, but it Just. Takes. So. Much. TIME. That’s why I want to find a different way to do this (and I think I have!), but more on this later.

So the point of this rant is- don’t do unnecessary work. The three things that will help you remember more and study less are:

1) Pay attention, 2) Take good, complete notes; 3)Listen closely and process all information on the spot.  It will save you a ton of time and nerves.

Coming up next- what I learned about sleep cycles.