It’s one thing to wake up groggy.
It happens to all of us, right? But a cup of coffee and a shower can usually deliver just the pep you need to focus and think straight again.
No, the BIGGER issue is when grogginess… sluggishness… and just plain mental exhaustion all hit later in the day.
Sometimes, there’s not enough coffee in the world to lift you out of that midday ditch. It’s worse still when it happens day after day, even if you think you’re getting “normal” sleep at night.
You start to wonder: Is this it? Is this the start of something worse?
So today, let me share two EASY ways to beat the slump. These tricks help you hack your sleep so that you’re at your sharpest during every waking moment.
Better yet, one of these tricks could go even further, helping to prevent cognitive decline and halting the onset of dementia, too.
An afternoon snooze could help head off decline
I’ve got two studies to share with you today. But I’m going to start with the most important one. It’s BIG news for any senior who is worried about cognitive struggles.
It’s about sleep. But NOT the kind you get at night (that’s important too, as you’ll see in a moment). This research focused on nap time.
There’s no shame in taking a daytime doze. In fact, the study of folks over the age of 60 finds a napping habit can enhance your “mental agility,” specifically in the key areas of:
- locational awareness
- verbal fluency
- working memory
Those are skills that tend to slip with age. And they can often be warning signs of the onset of cognitive decline. But a regular nap habit can help protect them ALL.
Naps can also give you the pick-me-you need to get through the rest of your day, both physically and mentally. Just make sure you’re not sleeping your afternoons away.
Other research makes it clear that the golden zone is an hour or less. Any more than that on a regular basis could send other risks climbing, such as heart disease.
(For more on how to tell good napping from bad, check out my earlier report here for free.)
Tweak your sleep for maximum brainpower
But sleeping at NIGHT, of course, is just as important.
And that’s where the second study comes into the picture. It shows how just putting a little more effort into your nighttime rest can make a major difference when it comes to your attention and focus during the daytime.
This one centered on folks in situations where attention and focus are life-or-death critical: Nurses. Given the stakes, they need every possible edge, especially right now.
The research reveals how they can get it – and how YOU can get it, too. Sleep an extra 29 minutes each night. That’s it.
Less than half an hour more of sleep can deliver a “mindfulness” boost that’ll last well into the day. It can make you more alert, aware, and able to take care of business.
And if this step can help nurses in those high-stress hospital situations… especially right now, in the middle of the pandemic… just imagine what it can do for you.
So go ahead and get that extra sleep. Enjoy a nap when you need a pick-me-up. But feel free to have that cup of coffee anyway.