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Why a 20 minute rest could help you work better

One fitness expert believes modern life is leaving us 'wired and tired' and the solution is for us to begin 'intermittent resting'.

Fitness expert Nahid de Belgeonne began to notice similarities among the clients attending her classes. They were all fit and busy people, and they were worn out.

"They were mentally wired and tired," explained Nahid on Mornings. "They were pushing themselves beyond their capabilities, buoying themselves up with pints of coffee and going to bed and not being able to sleep because they were so jittered."

The benefits of intermittent resting

Nahid de Belgeonne on taking a break to boost productivity

Nahid realised her clients needed to learn how to slow down, and this prompted her to devise a system she calls intermittent resting.

She explains, "At night you have a 90-100 minute cycle of REM where lots of processing and housekeeping happens. Your brain’s cleaned, your body's cleaned up, waste's gotten rid of. And then that's followed by about 20 minutes of very deep sleep which is where you repair, and that's really nutritious."

Nahid has introduced this pattern into her daytime activity.

"I work in intense bouts of 90-120 minutes on one task and then I have a bit of a break for about 15-20 minutes where I’ll do something mindless."

She believes that we should all follow her lead by taking a break from our screens and intense brain activity at work. This can be done by taking moving to a quieter room, walking to a colleague's desk for a chat, or even volunteering to do the coffee run.

While it might be a tricky routine to get into, Nahid believes that a short period of downtime during the day can only be a good thing and will ultimately benefit businesses.

"You'll end up seeing a much more productive, creative, agile workforce," she says.

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