Tag Archives: Rest

Sleep to Win! Seven Ways to Gain the Competitive Edge

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By Dr, James B. Maas and Haley A. Davis

Whether you’re a pro-athlete or haven’t run, or hit or touched a ball since your high school days, you have no idea how your abilities can dramatically improve overnight. And the best part is – it’ll be the easiest and most enjoyable change to your workout routine. All you need to do is get more sleep!

Most people don’t realize how significant a role sleep plays in daytime performance. Research regarding sleep and athletics is gaining more attention than ever and many new findings are coming to light. Here are seven ways to get the right quality and quantity of sleep to maintain your competitive advantage. Continue reading

Meditate to Start the Day

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I would’ve never been someone who meditated.
It seemed to weird. To hippy.
What is a hippy? I wouldn’t say I was even 100% sure what a hippy was but I didn’t think I wanted to be one.

I like things to be orderly and intentional.
Sitting on a mat and lighting incense was not how I pictured myself.

Then I started a job where I worked from home and I was entirely responsible for my own motivation and organization. I thrive in those situations but it was a few weeks in when I realized I was having trouble turning of work. I was getting up in the morning and I wasn’t rested. There was no such thing as work time and home time. It all bled together and it was making me crazier and crazier.

I had a coworker suggest I take a few minutes in the morning to sit and think through the day. Maybe pour myself a cup of coffee and look over my calendar. Get a little perspective. I’d go through the process of getting up, making breakfast, taking a few minutes to sit and think and then get dressed. It was my cue that the day was officially starting. It was a few weeks into this successful practice that I realized I was meditating!

Or at least practicing some sort of meditation.
I was reminding myself of who I was.
I was reminding myself of what I was doing.
I was reminding myself of what it was all for and where I was headed.
It allowed me to approach work tasks with a broader scope and more patience.
It allowed me to feel less guilty when I got to the end of my work day and could shut my computer and move on even though I wasn’t necessarily headed out the door to something else. I could just be.

Maybe meditation sounds to weird and ethereal to you.
A couple of things to help you?

1. Inc listed morning meditation as one of the “7 Ways to Start a Great Day”. If it’s good enough for Inc, it’s good enough for me.
2. Mallika Chopra has a great eBook aptly titled “Meditation with Mallika Chopra” that is a great starting point for people new to the practice.
3. Deepak Chopra has been teaching and speaking on meditation for years now. We’ve assembled some great resources answering the questions of what and why for beginners here.

Worried to be the only one? Many of the folks at Intent.com are starting the day with meditation and love encouraging one another! (You can vote on whether or not you want the incense. It doesn’t hurt, I promise!) Let them help you get started:

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From Intent.com: 30 Days of Okay

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I was 24 when I had my first panic attack. I seriously had no idea what was happening. I was driving a car and I was fresh from a situation where I felt like there was no escape. Before I knew it, I was pulled over on the side of the road, crying and trying to catch my breath.

Your body will let you do a lot of the steering of your life, but it is during an anxiety attack that you feel a little bit like a PC being taken down into Safe Mode. At a certain point, everything shuts down until you can get your head back on straight and that is a scary thought. To think that as an adult, my body might still have to say “she’s not ready to handle mess when it comes our way” is more scary to me than the actual panic attack.

It’s been a long time of learning about panic attacks- what causes them, what ends them, what is actually happening in the middle of them. I wish I could say I haven’t had one in years, but that’d be incorrect. So the other day on Intent.com, I posted my new intent to practice “30 Days of Okay”.

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For 30 days, when I feel myself start to freak out, I’m going to focus on this intent.
I am, in fact, okay.
And while things might not be ideal at the moment, in the grand scheme of things, I am going to live.

I have good friends and family.
I have a job I love.
I have opportunities that I don’t even close to deserve.
And tomorrow is always a new day.
I’m going to be okay.

I’ve been super inspired by some of the other 30 day intents on Intent.com.
Like,

So what about you?
In 30 days, who would you want to be?

5 Ways to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life

Sleeping beauty

Sometimes a good night’s sleep can mean the difference between a disjointed, unproductive day and a fulfilling, enjoyable one. Why is that?

Sleep is a time of rest and repair, but even more than that, it allows us to process short and long-term memories, metabolize emotional experiences, and is instrumental in learning. It would follow, then, that sleep deprivation might lead to difficulty with memory, emotional imbalance, and loss of focus, all of which can contribute to a fragmented and uncomfortable state of mind.

There is a reason sleep aids have carved a powerful niche in the pharmaceutical industry, and if you’ve ever experienced insomnia then you can probably relate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4% of American adults over 20 years old use prescription sleep aids in a month period. And apart from prescription aids, there are boundless other sleep remedies people try, from melatonin to warmed milk and everything in between.

Here are 5 great articles on how to improve your sleep, from some of our favorite sources for wellness content around the web:

Do Sleep Aids Really Work? (Greatist)

14 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight (MindBodyGreen)

Sweet Dreams: How to Sleep Better, Lose Weight, and Live Longer (DrHyman.com)

How Does Sleep Affect Your Sex Life? (She Knows)

 Yoga for Sleep: 10 Poses to Induce Restfulness and Combat Insomnia
(Huffington Post)

We hope these resources help you get a full and restful night’s sleep tonight and every night after! What sleep remedies have worked for you? Let us know in the comments section!

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18154748891333272199Are you ready for a healthy Vegas vacation?

The first of their kind in the world, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Vegas are furnished with a number of amenities designed to maximize health, wellness, and relaxation. From dawn simulator alarm clocks, to state-of-the-art air and water purification systems, to aromatherapy, Stay Well rooms provide an unprecedented opportunity to have a healthy travel experience — even in Las Vegas. Designed by real-estate pioneer Delos Living, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Stay Well will change the way you think about travel and hotel rooms. Learn more or book your reservation here.

The Science of Sleep: Essential to Body, Mind, and Spirit

The average human being sleeps 6 to 8 hours a night, almost 50 hours a week, and more than 2,600 hours a year— that means, on average, we spend almost 21 years of our lives asleep. In this week’s episode of “The Rabbit Hole” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra explores the little understood world of sleep, so essential to our health.

Much more that just a time of rest and repair, sleeping allows us to not only process short and long-term memories but also reconnect with the original spirit or consciousness from which we incarnated as human beings. To reach this level of deep sleep, our sleep habits should be in rhythm with the universe.

“When your physiological and biological rhythms are in sync with nature’s—the movement of the earth, sun, moon, and stars; the cycle of the seasons, and the pull and push of the ocean tide—sleep becomes effortless.”

The Indian philosopherScreen Shot 2013-03-05 at 5.01.27 PM, Adi Shankara, identified three states of consciousness, of which deep sleep is the third. In this state, he said, we are returned to “the source of all,” the original self.

Do you wake up refreshed and alert? Do you get good sleep? If not, what are you going to do about it?

Subscribe to The Chopra Well, and check out Deepak’s book, Restful Sleep!

It’s Time to Take A Nap!

We live in a world that never goes to sleep. The advent of the internet and other amazing technology has opened Pandora’s Box and now we have the ability to be connected at all times.  We tweet, we blog, we watch news and entertainment media on our televisions, iPads, iPhones, Blackberries, or other devices, and we can instantly communicate with each other 24/7. We are busy, and granted, we essentially need to be.  We work, we parent, we are in relationships, and we try to be good neighbors. On top of that, we invest our time, our talent and/or our dollars in our communities, politics, and philanthropic endeavors that move us. We care about our world.  We want to make it better.

But do we realize that all this activity takes its toll on us? Do we give ourselves a little of our own attention? We should, because we’d be healthier if we took a break now and then. Turn off your gadgets, put your sweet head on a pillow, and take a nap.  Studies show that when individuals take a half-hour nap each day, they are generally healthier.  They have less stress, lower blood pressure, and are at a decreased risk for heart disease.  One very important note about heart disease:  It is the leading killer of women.  So, this is at least one good reason why women should be scheduling those naps regularly.  “Oh, sure”, you say.  “With my busy schedule, between car pool, my hectic work schedule, trying to sneak in a dinner out with my husband, and checking the kids’ homework, when was I supposed to get that nap in?”

Okay, perhaps not everyone can spare a half-hour every day for some ‘shut-eye.’ But if you meditate, practice yoga, exercise, or hopefully some combination of the three, you are already moving in the right direction to focusing on a healthier lifestyle, and that is a wise investment of some of your time.

We all need to balance our busy lives in the most harmonious way possible for us individually, and only you will know how to do that for you. I don’t posit that there is a one-way-works-for-all answer to the question of how to bring our lives into balance, but I do think it’s important to discover our own sense of harmony in order to do so.  I  am sixty now, and I have just discovered “napping” this year.  I’m late, I know.  Thankfully, I discovered meditation, Yoga and exercise much earlier.  I also know now that my body has limitations.  My energy runs out if I don’t replenish it.  A short nap, which I usually start with a meditation session, rejuvenates me.

My sense is that you don’t have to wait until you’re sixty to discover this trick of finding time for yourself.  I carved out time for myself to work out at the gym even when I was younger — so I know it can be done.  Just take some of that time — perhaps it will only be ten or fifteen minutes, but instead of pounding away on a treadmill, or spinning, use it to rest.  I promise you, it will still make you smile, and it will be dreamy.

Creative Commons License photo credit: susivinh

Proof you went psychotic last night… plus why you should ask your boss for naptime

University of California Psychology and Neuroscience Professor, Matthew Walker, gives three good reasons to believe we all become psychotic when we sleep:

  1. You see things that simply were not there (you hallucinate).
  2. You believe things that could not possibly be true (you become delusional).
  3. When you wake up, you probably forget most if not all of what happened (you experience amnesia).

Watch the complete talk here

Matthew Walker is one of my scientific heroes. The man has literally it his mission to prove that midday naps are a vital to learning and that dreams aid in emotional processing. How cool is that?

I was talking to a friend yesterday about how in America (and much of the “modernized” world), we really de-value the importance of sleep in an effort to be more productive. In most cultures throughout history, there has been time set aside — usually right after lunch — for people to rest, digest, have a little siesta before getting back to work. Now, we’re seeing the American work-your-tail-off-9am-to-5pm model being embraced in developing countries all around the world. The underlying assumption is that skipping sleep and working more will make us more productive. But according to Walker’s research… that’s not necessarily the case.

I’ve always been taught that naps are for lazy people, something you only get to do if you’re feeling sick or have a lot of time on your hands. Sleep, however, appears to be a far more complex and integral phenomenon than we give it credit for. A thirty-minute cat nap can help consolidate memory, enhance cognitive skills, and support the integration of emotional experiences. As we learned yesterday, you’ll actually die from lack of sleep before you will starvation. Sometimes, you’re more productive with your head on a pillow than in front of a computer screen.

So maybe catching a few extra Zzzzzz after lunch isn’t such a bad thing after all, even if it does make you a little psychotic.

Photo Credit (CC): MediaSpin

16 Fascinating Facts About Sleep (Infographic)

Sleep is probably one of the most important contributing factors to our health,  yet most of us know surprisingly little about it. We spend roughly 1/3 of our lives sleeping (that’s thirty years if you live to be ninety!), and while it may look like there’s not a lot going on while you’re asleep, it’s far more complex than many of us would imagine. Most of scientific knowledge we have gained has only been acquired in the past twenty five years, and there’s still a great deal of mystery about how this altered state of consciousness works. 

But here’s what we do know…

Graphic Designer: Ellie Koning

Each week on the Intent Blog, we feature articles, videos, and images to inspire you to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life. This week, our focus is Rest and Sleep. If you’ve recently set an intent related to Sleep, share it with us in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to support you with interesting content to keep you motivated along the way!

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