New Research Finds More Reasons To Exercise At Work

January 21, 2015 8:58 PM

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If you've got a big project you have to really focus on, or especially if you have to drive, hit the hay. If the rest of the workday looks like smooth sailing, or you often have trouble sleeping at night, skip the nap. "Naps are sort of a double-edged sword," warns Dr. Epstein. "If you're indeed sleepy and it's going to interfere with your performance, the best way to get over that is to go to sleep. But if you have trouble sleeping at night, taking a nap can be a problem, because if you sleep in the daytime you won't sleep at night." You've also got to be tired enough to fall asleep during the day. "Well-rested people don't have the ability to power nap and that's great," says Maas. "It's much better to get good nocturnal sleep and not be able to than to have to power nap. While we do have a natural dip in our circadian rhythms that usually occurs in the afternoon, that is exacerbated by not having good nocturnal sleep."

Because of the natural cycles of our circadian rhythms, we are at our most tired twice during a 24-hour period. One peak of sleepiness is usually in the middle of the night, so the other, 12 hours later, falls smack-dab in the middle of the afternoon. "It's not that [there's] a good time to get the ...

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