Scientific observation: We can’t keep up because do not rest enough.

It might interest you to know some facts about your mind, rest and efficiency.

Scientific observation

As we know, the most debated topics on forums and freelance chatting remain “How to restless and keep up”, “How to build a career and stand out from the crowd”.

We are happy to follow these beliefs and bury ourselves into work. We do not give a damn about days-off, vacation, anything. Everything for the sake of a high goal – to achieve approval of others and fit stupid “successful freelancer” stereotype.

A year or two later, we begin to realize that our expectations do not correspond to objective reality. We are not happy and have achieved nothing.

For this article, we have collected three major freelancers’ objections about rest. We looked through an awful lot of studies and interviewed medical experts. It has turned out to be that we become less productive without sleep, sport and rest. As a result, the path to success becomes longer, more difficult and dangerous.

Rest: Do you have enough time?

Do you often hear the phrase like: “I am working myself to the bone and studying without rest”?

We suppose, yes! So, let’s consider why is it so.

For nothing. The book "The psychology of fatigue: “Work, effort and control” from Cambridge University prove that people who work without holidays, put more effort into solving problems, compared to those who are resting up for real.

Let's see how it works. In neurophysiology, there are three modes of brain activity:

  • Default mode network – when we rest from mental things.
  • Network detection of the importance – when we are focused on ourselves (meditation).
  • Central Executive network – when we are thinking hard about something.

Take a look at the picture: during the rest of intellectual work the brain works more actively than when we think hard.


Imagine that you can not solve some problems. You have spent a lot of time and effort in finding a solution and got confused and dog-tired. When you think you are thinking – the Central-executive network works, at this time you accumulate information. To find a solution quickly, it is necessary to run the default system, only then the brain will be able to process the information and draw conclusions. To do this, just stop thinking, do something else – clean the room, have fun with friends, do meditation, in general, make yourself useful.

The science of rest: Scientific observation

Efremov Andrey Vladimirovich, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist

He thought that in moments of rest, different parts of the brain begin to communicate with each other.

The brain binds disparate thoughts, accesses memories, continues to build neuronal connections. That means that after the learning process – the brain goes on studying "on the background" (research data from the American journal of medicine ScienceDirect).

We often hear: “I can not keep up to play sports, because I have a lot of work to do”.

People have evolved in conditions of increased physical activity. As a result, the brain works well if you do sports. (The National Institutes of Health research).

Do you know that 30-minutes physical activity sessions can improve the neuroplasticity of your brain? You may notice the first changes 15 minutes after. The usual 30-minutes jog will increase your efficiency, memory, and ability to plan at times.

When we give op on workouts, the brain receives less oxygen, it cuts off our blood supply – we become sluggish, quickly get tired, concentrate worse and do not perceive new information well. We feel better and become more productive in doing sports.

Increased production of neurotransmitters dopamine (motivation), serotonin (pleasure) and norepinephrine, which are involved in the construction of neural connections – the brain is accelerated, we become productive.

protein stimulates the development

An amount of protein BDNF is growing – protein stimulates the development of neurons and is involved in the formation of long-term memory.

Regular fast walking or slow running (with a pulse of up to 150 beats per minute), will increase blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain, respectively, your mental abilities. The National Medical Library of the United States published a study in which it is said that overcoming long distances on foot improves creative thinking (Study of the National medical library of the United States).

Check this statement. As soon as you feel tired from work – go to the Park and walk 30 minutes at a quick pace, not thinking about work. After a walk the head will clear up, you will feel better, there will be forces and ideas.

Dilyara Shagieva, neurologist, candidate of medical sciences

Dilyara has proposed that during physical activity, endocannabinoids are produced by almost every organism – cause euphoria, a feeling of intense happiness and excitement, there is an improvement in the function of nerve cells. A person perceives and remembers information better, increases efficiency.

  • Brain activity is increasing ( walking 3 times a week for 30-40 minutes, increases brain activity, improves the areas that are responsible for planning and memory.
  • “I work late at night and get up first thing in the morning to catch everything up”.

  • You make it only worse. At night, our brain produces melatonin, which gives a signal "it's high time to sleep." In the morning, the level of the hormone cortisol increases, giving a signal to wake up. A broken sleep schedule will break this rhythm and harm many brain processes, including reduced productivity.

Harvard Medical School has carried out a study on students (the Study is published on the official site of The United States National Library of Medicine. Within 30 days, students kept a diary and monitored the sleep regularity. The results showed that irregular sleep among students leads to the circadian rhythm sleep disorder and success level reducing.

Efremov Andrey Vladimirovich, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist

Andrey Vladimirovich said that during the day, 10 minutes of sleep is enough to restore the sharpness of thinking. If you need creative, scientific work – at least 90 minutes of sleep to the unconscious (in fact, the brain) was able to build a sufficient number of associative links.


Checklist of how to relax and be effective:

  1. Take time off of things that do not require intellectual effort.
  2. Do workouts to organize your thoughts and make your thinking more flexible.
  3. Take in earlier. Sleep at least 6 hours a day. Make a nap a habit.
  4. The author did all this and got a cool result – became richer in the amount of the fee for this article :-P

TexTerra goes on showing a dark side of digital. Share your life hacks, experience, topical issues – we will find a solution or write about it.