Rest from conflict is more common in older people

Rest from conflict — “loyalty” — is passive with respect to the social partner, and is constructive

Rest from conflict—“loyalty”—is passive with respect to the social partner, and is constructive.[1]

Rest from conflict means waiting hopefully

Conflict strategies are defined along two dimensions…

  1. The active–passive dimension indicates whether an individual confronts or avoids the problem.
  2. The constructive–destructive dimension refers to whether the strategy is likely to benefit or harm the relationship.

Based on these dimensions, 4 conflict categories arise: exit, neglect, voice, and loyalty.

  • Exit includes active destructive behaviors, such as yelling and hitting.
  • Neglect encompasses passive destructive strategies, such as pretending the social partner does not exist, sulking, or avoiding interactions.
  • Voice involves active constructive behaviors to directly solve the problem, such as discussing the issue.
  • Loyalty includes passive constructive strategies, such as optimistically waiting for things to change. For example, a person may be irritated but chooses not to say anything to avoid upsetting her social partner.

It is possible that individuals in all age groups usually respond to conflict with active constructive strategies. But, whether people also use active destructive strategies (e.g., yelling) or passive constructive strategies (e.g., doing nothing) varies with age group.

Rest from conflict is less common in younger people, in general

In this study…

…age differences were not accounted for by intensity of distress, relationship quality, contact frequency, or type of social partner.

…younger people were more likely to use exit responses (e.g., arguing, yelling) than older people…

…we did not find that younger people were also more likely to use neglect than older adults.

It is possible that neglect behaviors are not always destructive. Avoiding the person or leaving the situation may be advantageous for relationships if used immediately after a conflict because of extreme anger and the potential to engage in destructive behaviors. These behaviors may be harmful, however, if used over long periods of time.

…older adults were less likely to use certain destructive strategies than younger people.

…there were no age group differences in active constructive (voice) strategies, such as discussion.

…older adults were more likely to report loyalty strategies (e.g., doing nothing)…

…adolescents and middle-aged adults were less likely than oldest–old adults to describe loyalty.

Rest from conflict is more common in young adults and in older people

Young adults and oldest–old adults may have been equally likely to use loyalty because many of the young adults were enrolled in college or may have been employed in low-status jobs, which may encourage the use of loyalty.

It appears that individuals are better able to regulate their behavioral responses to interpersonal problems as they age.

…we found that older adults are more likely to use certain constructive strategies than younger adults.

…older adults were more likely to describe loyalty strategies (e.g., doing nothing) than younger people…[2]

  1. Dowding, Keith, et al. “Exit, voice and loyalty: Analytic and empirical developments.European Journal of Political Research 37.4 (2000): 469-495.
  2. Birditt, Kira S., and Karen L. Fingerman. “Do we get better at picking our battles? Age group differences in descriptions of behavioral reactions to interpersonal tensions.The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 60.3 (2005): P121-P128.

Rest breaks help us learn quicker and produce more

Graphics show that prescribed rest breaks reduce spontaneous breaks and disguised breaks, increasing net working time.
Figure 15.4 Effects of regular short breaks on the net working time

Rest breaks are biologically important

Military commanders have always known that a marching column should be halted once an hour because the time lost will be more than compensated for by a better performance by the men at the end of the march.

Rest pauses are essential, not only during manual work but equally during work that taxes the nervous system, whether by requiring manual dexterity or by the need to monitor a great many incoming sensory signals.

Encouragement helps 

…since nobody can do either manual or mental work continuously without interruption.

…disguising pauses… often… do not provide sufficient relaxation because another activity is performed. For full effect, pauses should be taken openly.

Rest breaks increase learning

If training is interrupted frequently for short periods of relaxation, a new skill is acquired much more quickly than if training is continuous…

Rest pauses during training do more than just prevent fatigue: during rest pauses a trainee will look ahead and understand the process so that it becomes easier to acquire the automatic skills required. When a skilled operation is involved, the rest pauses provide additional periods for mental training.

More rest is needed later in the day

Figure 15.4 shows the results of a time study in the electrical industry where a highly skilled job on piece rate was performed. There were about three times as many pauses during the last three hours as during the first five, showing that the need for breaks in the work increased as the operator became more fatigued.

…rest pauses… should amount to 15 per cent of the working time. Often a ratio of 20-30 per cent is allowed and this is certainly necessary in some jobs.

Rest breaks increase production

Introducing organised rest pauses often actually speeds up the work and this compensates for the time lost during the prescribed pauses; it also reduces disguised and spontaneous pauses.

The hourly output of fatiguing work usually declines towards the end of the morning shift, and even more towards evening, as the rate of working slows down. …if prescribed pauses are introduced the appearance of fatigue symptoms is postponed and the loss of production through fatigue is less.

…rest pauses tend to increase output rather than to decrease it. Ergonomics attributes these effects to the avoidance of excessive fatigue or to the periodic relief of fatigue symptoms by an interval of relaxation.

Rest break recommendations

  1. For jobs demanding moderate physical or mental effort, there should be organised breaks of 10 to 15 min about halfway through the work periods before and after the longer (about 30 min) mid-shift rest period.
  2. A job making heavy mental demands, especially if it is timed work with little embedded rest, should have several short pauses of a few minutes’ length in addition to the organised breaks described under (1) above.
  3. When learning a skill or serving an apprenticeship, many pauses should be the rule, varying in rate and duration to suit the difficulty of the task.
  4. Supervisors should encourage their staff to make, and everyone at work should take, as many spontaneous breaks as needed to maintain attention, concentration, endurance and well-being. They should be open rather than disguised, frequent and of short duration. Don’t wait for fatigue, avoid it!

  1. Kroemer, Karl H. E., and Etienne Grandjean. Fitting the task to the human: a textbook of occupational ergonomics. 5th edition, CRC Press, 1997, pp. 246-250.

Fall asleep faster by making hands and feet warm

Capillary blood flow in hands and feet rises rapidly at 33 to 34 C, so you fall asleep faster fast.

Fig. 5. Correlation between skin temperature and resting blood flow velocity (CBV) in one nailfold capillary of a healthy 37-year-old man. Notice the marked increase in CBV occurring at 34 C… The figure illustrates that the microclimate of at least 34 C that is created during sleep is essential in order to attain and sustain maximal skin blood flow.

Fall asleep faster by warming your skin

Sleep preferably occurs during the circadian phase of… increased heat loss… due to a profound increase in skin blood flow and, consequently, skin warming.[1]

…to fall asleep a certain comfortable microclimate is necessary.[2]

Sleep-related behavior including the creation of an isolated microclimate of high temperature by means of warm clothing and bedding in humans and the curling up, huddling and cuddling in animals all help limit heat loss.

The use of bed covers… allows for the development of an isolated microclimate of a temperature of even 34–36 C…, effectively limiting heat flow to the environment. Such a high environmental temperature yields an important additional advantage for attaining and stabilizing the high level of skin blood flow. …it is exactly at a temperature increase from 33 C to 34 C that vasodilation and skin blood flow increase steeply to their maximum, as shown in Fig. 5 [above]… The bed microclimate of 34–36 C is thus critical for the maintenance of a high level of skin blood flow, which would be annihilated even with a minute decrease toward 33 C.

… the prolonged period of increased skin blood flow… may support maintenance of the skin as a primary barrier in host defense.[1]

Especially, warm your fingers and toes 

The distal skin regions, in particular fingers and toes, are the main thermoeffectors to lose core body heat…

… warm distal skin temperatures induced… by… selective skin warming predispose to a rapid onset of sleep.[3]

At all times of day, warming using a thermosuit helped people fall asleep faster.

Fig. 4… …every subject was exposed to both slight warming and cooling at all times of day. The thermosuit manipulation resulted in a proximal skin temperature difference between the two conditions of only 0.8… C around a mean of 35.1.. C. In spite of the fact that subjects experienced the warm condition as slightly less comfortable, it accelerated sleep onset latency by 26%… [1]

  1. Van Someren, Eus JW. “Mechanisms and functions of coupling between sleep and temperature rhythms.” Progress in brain research 153 (2006): 309-324.
  2. Kräuchi, Kurt. “The human sleep–wake cycle reconsidered from a thermoregulatory point of view.Physiology & behavior 90.2 (2007): 236-245.
  3. Kräuchi, Kurt, and Tom Deboer. “Thermoregulation in Sleep and Hibernation.” Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, edited by Meir H. Kryger et al, Elsevier, 2017, pp. 220-228.e5.