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Can napping reduce frustration and increase emotional control?

By Marcus Santer

Gotta be quick today…

Big meeting with Ollie’s school.

All about how to get him set up to be able to record his work digitally.

Because due to his hemiplegia he has great difficulty with hand writing.

And as he starts working towards his exams Clarabella and I don’t want that to hold him back.

I ask ya, does being a parent ever get easy?

Anyway…

It gives me an opportunity to share some more ammunition with you.

Ammo backing up what a valuable tool a nap is.

Here goes.

You’ve probably experienced feeling more irritable when you’re tired.

Well in this study [1], researchers from the University of Michigan wanted to see if taking an afternoon nap could help to counteract impulsive behaviour and reduce frustration.

How useful would that be?

So they took 40 peeps aged between 18 and 50 and asked them to keep the same sleep schedule for 3 nights.

Then they gave them a test.

Asking questions focused on emotional control and got them to complete tasks on computers.

Next the participants were randomly split into one of two groups:

  1. 60 minute nap opportunity
  2. No nap

They were monitored and then asked to complete the questionnaires and tasks again.

Here’s what the researchers observed…

Those who napped worked harder trying to solve a task than those who didn’t and reported feeling less impulsive.

Okay, okay.

So 40 participants is hardly a huge study.

Clearly more research needs to be done.

But when the study’s authors combined their findings with the research demonstrating the negative effects of sleep loss they made a good case for showing how much harder it is for those running a sleep deficit to control negative emotional responses.

Here’s what one of the researchers from the study said:

“Our results suggest that napping may be a beneficial intervention for individuals who may be required to remain awake for long periods of time by enhancing their ability to persevere through difficult or frustrating tasks.”

Now I’m a huge fan of naps.

I don’t have them everyday, but when I notice I’m feeling ‘fuzzy headed’ or my creative juice seems to have dried up, I find a 23 minute nap can work wonders for getting me back in the zone.

So if you’re in a position to experiment with napping I suggest you do.

Because they’re a simple and powerful way to give yourself a caffeine free ‘pick-me-up’.

To learn more about naps and other tools to help you get more out of your life…

Read my book:

ZEN+ The Art and Science of Living Healthier for Longer

Bye for now

Marcus

P.S. Research shows the average Brit gets 6.5 hours of sleep a night.

But research also shows most folk need between between 7 and 9 hours sleep a night.

You don’t have to be a genius to see most folk are running a serious sleep deficit.

And that can lead to a whole host of serious health problems.

For example:
A recent study published March 6th 2015 by the Endocrine Society [2] summarised:

Losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep per day on weekdays can have long-term consequences for body weight and metabolism.

Yet something as simple as a short nap can help to reduce the effects.

So give it a try if you can.

Find out more in my ZEN+ Book.

 
 

Referenced:
[1] Goldschmied, Jennifer R., et al. “Napping to modulate frustration and impulsivity: A pilot study.” Personality and Individual Differences 86 (2015): 164-167.
[2] https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/current-press-releases/losing-30-minutes-of-sleep-per-day-may-promote-weight-gain-and-adversely-affect-blood-sugar-control