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Blogs

One Small Change

Contributing writer Joe Kita dares to make one little, healthy change every month. Past experiments include giving up caffeine, napping daily, and stretching like it's your job.

One Small Change

The Curious Case of After-Nap Munchies

iStockphoto

Have you ever experienced a phenomenon known as “after-nap munchies?” For me, it goes like this: I awake from a longish nap (I’m talking hours, not days) and am ravenously hungry. I usually crave something sweet like cookies, or something cool and delicious such as ice cream or fruit. The eating that results is comparable to a John Deere thresher working its way across a grain field. Occasionally, it even borders on becoming out-of-control. I mean, I’m half-awake and before I know it I’m elbow-deep in a box of Nilla Wafers.

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Tags: Leisure Time, Rest, Sleep, Energy, Snacks

One Small Change

The Pillow Ring, Nap Urinal and Other Amazing Gizmos

neatorama.com

Awful napping weekend. Too much going on. As a result, I tried napping in the car (head kept hitting window on sharp left turns), on a visit to my mother’s (Joey, are you getting sick? Joey!) and during yoga class (snoring is frowned upon in savasana; wife delivers elbow to ribs). The disruption in my napping routine is spilling over into the week, and I’m unable to recreate those wonderful restoratives I initially experienced. I’m back to lying on the couch with my mind rat-tat-tatting through the day’s agenda. I guess I was naïve in assuming I had this napping thing nailed.

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Tags: Rest, Sleep

One Small Change

Convincing Your Boss to Let You Nap at Work

Today, I’m going to show you how to convince your boss to allow you to nap at work. That’s correct. If you carefully follow these instructions, you will enter the elite company of gentlemen like SEC Chairman Christopher Cox who actually got paid for sleeping.

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Tags: Rest, Work, Sleep

One Small Change

Discovering the Power Nap

Thinkstock

These last few days have been heady times. It’s as if I’ve discovered a new drug that I can take whenever I’m feeling fatigued and, 30 minutes later, I’m a new man. There’s no prescription, no deductible, no side effects, no worries—except, I guess, the persistent threat of getting caught.

I never really understood the term “power nap” until now, but that’s exactly how this feels. Once you train yourself to do it, there’s no messing around. You lie down, you set the alarm, you close your eyes, and you get it done. It’s definitely not your Nana’s nap.

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Tags: Rest, Sleep

One Small Change

Napping Myths, Debunked

iStockphoto

It's Day 2 in my sleep experiement and this isn’t easy. But Dr. Breus warned me it wouldn’t be. If you’re unaccustomed to napping, like I am, you almost have to train yourself to do so. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Not only must you get into the habit of napping at the same time daily, but you also have to let go of all the negative karma that surrounds it. For instance: napping is for old people, it’s a sign of weakness, it’s a waste of time, you’re lazy if you do so, etc.

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Tags: Rest, Sleep, Relaxation

One Small Change

Why It's So Hard to Nap

iStockphoto

I should first confess that I work from home, thus it’s much easier for me to sack out during the day than most people. Still, I’m a workaholic who doesn’t like to waste time, and I certainly don’t want my wife coming home from her job early and catching me asleep on the couch. (But honey, I swear it’s an assignment!) So this experiment won’t be as easy as it appears.

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Tags: Rest, Sleep, Relaxation

One Small Change

Do You Need a Nap?

Thinkstock

The vast majority of Americans are sleep-deprived. In fact, it can be argued that sleep deprivation is not only the root cause of most stress and disease, but it also probably contributed to our current economic crisis. That’s right, those hard-chargers on Wall Street and in Washington, who regard the need for sleep as a character flaw, weren’t aware of how dramatically the lack of it compromises clear thinking.

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Tags: Stress, Sleep, Tired

One Small Change

The Verdict on Caffeine

iStockphoto

It’s Sunday, 10 a.m., prime coffee-drinking time. It has been exactly 29 days, or one month, since I swore off caffeine. And honestly, I haven’t touched a drop. The experiment is over, I’m free of my lab-rat cage, and I could go on a caffeine binge if I so desired, but I’m sitting here at my desk without a fresh, full mug. I am in control now, and there’s a surprisingly nice buzz to that.

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Tags: Caffeine, Focus, Beverages

One Small Change

26 Days Without Caffeine

Daquella manera / flickr

I’m working from Starbucks today. After 26 caffeine-free days I want to test my resolve in the very belly of the beast, like an AA graduate at his first happy hour. It is a cold, gray morning—a perfect day to wrap oneself in the blanket of a coffeehouse. And sure enough, upon opening the door, I’m embraced by the oh-so-comfortable smell of brewed coffee. Like the scent of a mother’s cooking or a lover’s hair, it welcomes me home. There’s also the delightful whirl of fresh beans being ground. And frothing is at such a fever pitch it sounds like an Airbus taking off. Everywhere there are happy, caffeinated people.

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Tags: Beverages, Pressure, Caffeine

One Small Change

Blog, Interrupted

Joe Kita

Pardon the interruption, but as the wife (a.k.a. "Coffee Vixen") here, I feel I must add my own view of how the caffeine-free month is really going. To be as supportive as possible, I felt it was my job to carry on as usual with my regular coffee rituals. As has been alluded to, I brew delicious, robust roasts each morning, their wonderfully rich aromas swirling provocatively about our home. I place a steaming cup on my husband's desk – just in case he should have a weak moment. Hoping that he forgets there is caffeine in chocolate, I bake mouth-watering brownies or place bowls of Hershey Kisses strategically around the house. I tell him there is no caffeine in any teas at all!

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Tags: Caffeine, Beverages

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