The Best Nap Time For Big Mental Health Boost

An article from  PsyBlog

best nap time

The best nap time could keep your brain five years younger.

Taking a nap of around an hour after lunch is linked to the biggest long-term boost in mental health, new research suggests.

Almost 3,000 Chinese people over the age of 65 were included in the study of napping.

Around 60% reported taking a nap after lunch.

The researchers found that those taking an hour-long nap did the best on measures of memory and cognition.

The study’s authors explain their results:

“…a moderate-duration nap taken during the postlunch dip is associated with better overall cognition.

Older adults who did not nap or napped longer than 90 minutes (extended nappers) were significantly more likely than those who napped for 30 to 90 minutes after lunch (moderate nappers) to have lower overall cognition scores…”

In comparison, those who took shorter naps, longer naps or no naps were cognitively older.

It worked out that people who did not nap for around an hour were cognitively five years older:

“In the final analysis, no napping, short napping, and extended napping were associated with worse overall cognition than moderate napping.

The difference in overall cognition associated with these napping groups was similar to or greater than the decline in cognition associated with a 5-year increase in age.”

Best nap time

The study is one of the first to look at the benefits of longer afternoon naps.

The benefits of short naps are already well-known, the study’s authors write:

“…the short-term benefits of brief naps (e.g., 10 minutes) are well documented in previous studies and include greater alertness and accuracy and speed when performing a number of cognitive tasks, including psychomotor performance and short-term memory…”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Li et al., 2016).

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We can wipe out mosquitoes – so let’s do it

Two young people, very close to me, are currently lying in hospital, seriously ill with Dengue fever.


Perhaps  Daniel Engber is correct, in what he says, in his article below.

“It’s time to kill all the mosquitoes,” says Daniel Engber. It was bad enough when these pests were spreading diseases such as malaria and dengue fever around the world, causing the death of hundreds of thousands of people every year. But now they’re also spreading the Zika virus, which is believed to cause birth defects.

Enough is enough. Rather than just seeking to repel these “flying hypodermic needles”, or to control their numbers by spraying cancer-causing pesticides around, let’s go for the “nuclear option” and wipe them out entirely.

For the first time in human history, that option is now in our grasp. By introducing genetically engineered mosquitoes into the wild, it’s quite conceivable that we could totally eliminate at least the handful of really dangerous mosquito breeds, if not all 3,500-odd species. Eco-activists might blanch at such a step, but there’s little evidence that “mosquitoes form a crucial link in any food chain, or that their niche could not be filled by something else”.

When science journalist Janet Fang investigated this option for the journal Nature in 2010, she concluded that “life would continue as before – or even better”. So what’s stopping us? Let’s take on these agents of “bioterror” at their own game. It’s time for mass “mosquito-cide”.

Daniel Engber

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10 Ways to have a better conversation

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How to Live Longer

I have found the answer to eternal life. Well maybe not eternal, but certainly a long one.

But first let me ask you; don’t you just hate it when people say ‘What’s wrong with you Dog Tired of Phone Callstoday, you don’t look very happy?’

Maybe you don’t feel like smiling on that particular day, for no particular reason.

Or maybe you feel like punching them in the nose.

However, a report in American Psychologist states that:

Smiling and being agreeable influences the length of people’s lives in a positive way – Wow!

On the other hand, being grumpy increases the likelihood of a violent death, heart disease, cancer etc – oh dear!

And punching someone on the nose may result in a violent death!

If DC says it; it must be true

Dale Carnegie in his book – How to Win Friends and Influence People, says: ‘People who smile tend to manage, teach and sell more effectively, they also raise happier children.’

Are your teeth okay?

Another survey found that 75% of respondents thought that an unattractive smile would be bad for their career. While a whopping 92% said an attractive smile was a necessary social asset.

Watch out for the scary people

These sorts of reports have been around for years, but many of the people that I come into contact with don’t seem to have received the message.

I’ve attended business networking meetings where many non-smiley people look downright scary.

And they wonder why they don’t gain any benefit from their networking!

Many of the people at my local health club look downright unhappy. You’d think they were there as some form of penance rather than as part of their fun and leisure time.

Are you sure your teeth are okay?

Of course many people don’t smile because they’re nervous; they lack confidence or have low self-esteem. Some people on the other hand actually believe they’re smiling when the face they present to the world could actually turn milk sour.

Have a look at your face from your side

I’m not suggesting that we all go around with big smiles on our face grinning inanely at people we hardly know.

If you did that, then the men in white coats would soon be dragging you off to a place of detention.

However, I am suggesting that we think about the face we present to other people.

By sporting a warm smile at the appropriate time, we can only smooth the path for the people we’re dealing with.

We also boost our own confidence and it allows us to relax and make the most of a situation.

Here come the technical bit

Smiling stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals, which has an ongoing positive effect. It’s a two-way neurological process; when you smile you literally become happier, and when you’re happier, you smile more.

If someone gives you an unsolicited smile, you smile back and in tteethhis way we directly affect each other’s moods.

Switching on a smile will only bring benefits – you’ll be happier and everyone else will be
happier – so keep smiling!

And in the words of W.C. Fields:

‘Start each day with a smile and get it over with’.

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The 8 Things The Happiest People Do Every Day

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Can I Trust You

Because if I can’t there is no way you’re going to sell me anything, even although it’s the best product or the best service, at the best price.

And if you’re my boss, then you haven’t a hope of me being committed and engaged in

Welcome aboard

my job.

A whopping great 45% of people, who leave their jobs, do so due to a lack of trust in their employer.

This is according to Deloitte’s “Ethics and Workplace Survey”.

Do you trust me?

If I work for you, do you trust me to do my job to the best of my abilities; to turn up early and go home late?

Because, if you do; there’s a good chance that’s what you’ll get.

But if you don’t trust me to do that, and believe I won’t do the job to the best of my abilities, then that’s also what you’ll get.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Trust is a two-way street, and it has to start somewhere. So if you’re managing people or dealing with customers, why not let it start with you!

Alan’s Amazon Page

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One Tip on How to Get Your Message Across

We all spend a great deal of our time communicating with other people. It could be our customers, our colleagues, our boss, and the people in our personal life.

So the tip is – use your feelings to get your message across to other people.


Are you listening to me?

Do you ever get the impression that people are not really listening to you or understanding what you’re saying? It doesn’t matter if it’s face to face or in a more formal speech or presentation.

Most people are not particularly good listeners. They are easily distracted and interrupted by other stuff going on in their brain.

They might be:

  • Tired,
  • In a hurry,
  • Confused,
  • Physically uncomfortable,
  • Don’t understand your jargon
  • Maybe just thinking about what they will say next.

So if you want to get your message across, then it’s important to take into account all of these points. And it’s also important to ensure you are making the best of your speaking skills.

It’s all about the body

The problem is that the words you use, although essential, can be contradicted by your tone of voice and your body language.
Many people are now familiar with the results of research conducted by Dr Albert Mehrabian. This tells us that the impact of a message is dependent 7% on the words we use, 38% on tone and a whacking great 55% on body language.

I’ve read articles that take issue with these figures, suggesting that words are more important and have greater impact than Dr Mehrabian suggests.

I wouldn’t be prepared to put any figures on these three aspects of communication, however:

I am totally convinced that how you look, and how you sound, are far more important than what you say.

It was so exciting – not

Recently I conducted a one to one training session in selling and presentation skills for a director of a small computer software company. A video camera was used to record this director’s sale pitch to a potential customer, a role played by me.

When I replayed this recording, my director client was horrified to watch his presentation. In his pitch, he used words such as, ‘Young exciting company – staff with lots of enthusiasm for their product – lots of energy and passion for what they are doing.’

The only thing was that he, the person in the video, had about as much excitement, enthusiasm, energy and passion as a plate of cold porridge.

He was saying the words but they just weren’t convincing. He was dull monotone and boring, and he knew it.

The good thing was, that once he’d realised it, he could do something about it.

Don’t be shy

On occasion, people say to me. ‘I am as I am; I’m a quieter sort of person. I can’t leap up and down and get excited about something even though I feel it inside.’

My answer to these people is, ‘Don’t change your personality but do make a slight change to your behaviour.

Turn up the energy a little bit, put a bit more power in the enthusiasm, and warm up the passion just a tad more.

If you were to ask these same people about their football team, their children or their hobby, then just watch them get fired up – or at least, get a little bit warmer.

Honey baby

One quiet unassuming chap held me spellbound one day telling me about his hobby of beekeeping. It wasn’t so much what he was saying but how he was describing it.

His eyes were shining, he was speaking quickly and he was using his hands to describe this subject which he had now made very interesting.

He was buzzing (sorry, couldn’t resist that)

Here’s a little exercise for you

Say the following sentence out loud (okay wait till there’s no one around) There are 7 words; so say the sentence 7 times emphasising a different word in turn.

‘I didn’t say you stole my pen!’

Would you believe there are 7 meanings to this sentence depending on which word you emphasise?

Make it happen

Other people will respond more to your feelings than to what you actually say.

So if you want to get your message across to your employees, your customers, colleagues, or your family, then show more of how you feel.

And you do that through your tone of voice and your body language.



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