Improve Your Vocabulary for IELTS Writing & Speaking

Siesta Time

An hour’s sleep in the middle of the day can work wonders.

Finally, vindication for power nappers. Far from being lazy louts, siesta-takers are actually doing their bit for the firm. According to Sara Mednick and her colleagues at Harvard, just 60 minutes of shut-eye in the middle of the day can make you perform like the fresh daisy in the morning. But it has to be bona fide sleep; a mere rest, they found, has no effect.

Dr. Mednick, whose results have just been published in Nature Neuroscience, wanted to know what effect power napping would have on people’s visual perception. She asked 30 student volunteers to come into her laboratory. Four times on the same day, at 9 am, noon, 4 pm and 7 pm, they were required to stare at a computer screen for an hour. Their task was to pick out a vertical or horizontal bar from a striped background—an established test of visual perceptiveness. The more quickly they picked out the bar, the more acute their perception.

All the volunteers had slept well in the days before the test, and had been warned off alcohol. During the test day, nicotine addicts were allowed to indulge their habits, hut everyone had to remain uncaffeinated. Despite this cosseting, the performance of the ten volunteers who went straight through the day without a nap deteriorated rapidly. Their best scores were first thing in the morning, and it was downhill from there on. By the last session, they were taking 52% longer, on average, to identify the orientation of the bar than they had in the first.

However, another ten of the volunteers were given the opportunity to nap at 2 pm for 30 minutes, while the remaining ten were allowed a 60-minute snooze. The short nappers did not get any worse in their afternoon test sessions. The long nappers actually got better—they performed just as well as they had first thing.

To test whether a rest, rather than a nap, would do the trick, nine more volunteers were asked in. But to no avail: their abilities declined with each session. Nor did motivation seem to be a factor. Yet another set of volunteers, after a poor showing in the second session, was told they had not done very well, but that they could earn a further $25 if they could do as well in the afternoon as they had that morning. The poor students’ eyes lit up, according to Dr Mednick, but not one, alas, was able to stop the decay.

The upshot is another piece of evidence that humans, like many mammals which have evolved in tropical climes, are adapted not to go out in the mid-day sun. They are, rather, crepuscular – that is, they are most active in the morning and the evening. The protestant work – ethic that drives those now living in colder climates to work throughout the day may actually be counterproductive. At least, that is what you should tell your boss when asking for a couch to be installed in the office.

Words and Expressions for IELTS Speaking & Writing

  1. siesta (n):  a nap in the early afternoon (especially in hot countries) ⇒ “Siesta Time”
  2. work wonders: work in an effective way  ⇒ “An hour’s sleep in the middle of the day can work wonders.”
  3. vindication (n): the act of vindicating or defending against criticism or censure ⇒ ” Vindication for power nappers.”
  4. power (n): possession of controlling influence ⇒ ” Vindication for power nappers.”
  5. napper (n): a person who has a nap ⇒ ” Vindication for power nappers.”
  6. far from: different from ⇒ ” Far from being lazy louts, siesta-takers are actually doing their bit for the firm.”
  7. lout (n): an awkward stupid person ⇒ ” Far from being lazy louts, siesta-takers are actually doing their bit for the firm.”
  8. siesta-taker (n): a person who has a nap in the early afternoon ⇒ ” Far from being lazy louts, siesta-takers are actually doing their bit for the firm.”
  9. do one’s bit:  do a little thing for someone ⇒ ” Far from being lazy louts, siesta-takers are actually doing their bit for the firm.”
  10. colleague (n): an associate that one works with ⇒ ” According to Sara Mednick and her colleagues at Harvard”
  11. shut-eye (n): close eyes and take a sleep ⇒ “According to Sara Mednick and her colleagues at Harvard, just 60 minutes of shut-eye in the middle of the day can make you perform like the fresh daisy in the morning.”
  12. perform (v): give a performance (of something) ⇒ “According to Sara Mednick and her colleagues at Harvard, just 60 minutes of shut-eye in the middle of the day can make you perform like the fresh daisy in the morning.”
  13. fresh daisy: work effectively ⇒ ” According to Sara Mednick and her colleagues at Harvard, just 60 minutes of shut-eye in the middle of the day can make you perform like the fresh daisy in the morning.”
  14. bona fide: undertaken in good faith ⇒ “But it has to be bona fide sleep; a mere rest, they found, has no effect.”
  15. mere (adj): being nothing more than specified ⇒ ” But it has to be bona fide sleep; a mere rest, they found, has no effect.”
  16. publish (v): prepare and issue for public distribution ⇒ ” Dr. Mednick, whose results have just been published in Nature Neuroscience, wanted to know what effect power napping would have on people’s visual perception.”
  17. visual (adj): visible ⇒ ” Dr. Mednick, whose results have just been published in Nature Neuroscience, wanted to know what effect power napping would have on people’s visual perception.”
  18. perception (n): a way of conceiving something ⇒ ” Dr. Mednick, whose results have just been published in Nature Neuroscience, wanted to know what effect power napping would have on people’s visual perception.”
  19. volunteer (n): a person who takes part in charity’s work ⇒ ” She asked 30 student volunteers to come into her laboratory.”
  20. pick out (v): choose the different one ⇒ ” Their task was to pick out a vertical or horizontal bar from a striped background—an established test of visual perceptiveness.”
  21. vertical (adj): at right angles to the plane of the horizon or a base line ⇒ ” Their task was to pick out a vertical or horizontal bar from a striped background—an established test of visual perceptiveness.”
  22. horizontal (adj): parallel to or in the plane of the horizon or a base line ⇒ ” Their task was to pick out a vertical or horizontal bar from a striped background—an established test of visual perceptiveness.”
  23. striped (adj): marked or decorated with stripes ⇒ ” Their task was to pick out a vertical or horizontal bar from a striped background—an established test of visual perceptiveness.”
  24. background (n): information that is essential to understanding a situation or a problem ⇒ ” Their task was to pick out a vertical or horizontal bar from a striped background—an established test of visual perceptiveness.”
  25. established (adj): set up or found ⇒ ” Their task was to pick out a vertical or horizontal bar from a striped background—an established test of visual perceptiveness.”
  26. perceptiveness (n): the quality of insight and sympathetic understanding ⇒ ” Their task was to pick out a vertical or horizontal bar from a striped background—an established test of visual perceptiveness.”
  27. acute (adj): having or experiencing a rapid onset and short but severe course ⇒ ” The more quickly they picked out the bar, the more acute their perception.”
  28. warn off: tell someone to avoid something ⇒ ” All the volunteers had slept well in the days before the test, and had been warned off alcohol.”
  29. alcohol (n): a liquor or brew containing alcohol as the active agent ⇒ ” All the volunteers had slept well in the days before the test, and had been warned off alcohol.”
  30. nicotine (n): an alkaloid poison that occurs in tobacco ⇒ ” During the test day, nicotine addicts were allowed to indulge their habits, hut everyone had to remain uncaffeinated.”
  31. addict (n): someone who is physiologically dependent on a substance ⇒ ” During the test day, nicotine addicts were allowed to indulge their habits, hut everyone had to remain uncaffeinated.”
  32. indulge (v): give satisfaction to ⇒ ” During the test day, nicotine addicts were allowed to indulge their habits, hut everyone had to remain uncaffeinated.”
  33. uncaffeinated (adj): without being caffeinated ⇒ ” During the test day, nicotine addicts were allowed to indulge their habits, hut everyone had to remain uncaffeinated.”
  34. cosset (v): treat with excessive indulgence ⇒ ” Despite this cosseting, the performance of the ten volunteers who went straight through the day without a nap deteriorated rapidly.”
  35. performance (n): the act of presenting something ⇒ ” Despite this cosseting, the performance of the ten volunteers who went straight through the day without a nap deteriorated rapidly.”
  36. go through (v): overcome ⇒ ” Despite this cosseting, the performance of the ten volunteers who went straight through the day without a nap deteriorated rapidly.”
  37. deteriorate (v): become worse ⇒ ” Despite this cosseting, the performance of the ten volunteers who went straight through the day without a nap deteriorated rapidly.”
  38. downhill (adv): toward a lower state ⇒ ” Their best scores were first thing in the morning, and it was downhill from there on.”
  39. session (n): a meeting for execution of a group’s function ⇒ ” By the last session, they were taking 52% longer, on average, to identify the orientation of the bar than they had in the first.”
  40. on average: typically ⇒ ” By the last session, they were taking 52% longer, on average, to identify the orientation of the bar than they had in the first.”
  41. identify (v): recognize of being ⇒ ” By the last session, they were taking 52% longer, on average, to identify the orientation of the bar than they had in the first.”
  42. orientation (n): a course introducing a new situation or environment ⇒ ” By the last session, they were taking 52% longer, on average, to identify the orientation of the bar than they had in the first.”
  43. opportunity (n): a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances ⇒ ” However, another ten of the volunteers were given the opportunity to nap at 2 pm for 30 minutes, while the remaining ten were allowed a 60-minute snooze.”
  44. nap (v): a short sleep in early afternoon ⇒ ” However, another ten of the volunteers were given the opportunity to nap at 2 pm for 30 minutes, while the remaining ten were allowed a 60-minute snooze.”
  45. snooze (n): sleeping for a short period of time (usually not in bed) ⇒ ” However, another ten of the volunteers were given the opportunity to nap at 2 pm for 30 minutes, while the remaining ten were allowed a 60-minute snooze.”
  46. short napper: a person who has a short sleep in early afternoon ⇒ ” The short nappers did not get any worse in their afternoon test sessions.”
  47. long napper: a person who has a long sleep in early afternoon ⇒ ” The long nappers actually got better—they performed just as well as they had first thing.”
  48. do the trick: cause someone to believe an untruth ⇒ ” To test whether a rest, rather than a nap, would do the trick, nine more volunteers were asked in.”
  49. to no avail: a means of being not served ⇒ ” But to no avail: their abilities declined with each session.”
  50. decline (v): change toward something smaller or lower ⇒ ” But to no avail: their abilities declined with each session.”
  51. motivation (n): the reason for the action ⇒ ” Nor did motivation seem to be a factor.”
  52. factor (n): anything that contributes to a result ⇒ ” Nor did motivation seem to be a factor.”
  53. showing (n): something shown to the public ⇒ ” Yet another set of volunteers, after a poor showing in the second session, was told they had not done very well, but that they could earn a further $25 if they could do as well in the afternoon as they had that morning.”
  54. lit up: light up ⇒ ” The poor students’ eyes lit up, according to Dr Mednick, but not one, alas, was able to stop the decay.”
  55. decay (n): the process of gradually becoming inferior ⇒ ” The poor students’ eyes lit up, according to Dr Mednick, but not one, alas, was able to stop the decay.”
  56. upshot (n): a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon ⇒ ” The upshot is another piece of evidence that humans, like many mammals which have evolved in tropical climes, are adapted not to go out in the mid-day sun.”
  57. evidence (n): an indication that makes something evident ⇒ ” The upshot is another piece of evidence that humans, like many mammals which have evolved in tropical climes, are adapted not to go out in the mid-day sun.”
  58. mammal (n): any warm – blooded vertebrate having the skin more or less covered with hair ⇒ ” The upshot is another piece of evidence that humans, like many mammals which have evolved in tropical climes, are adapted not to go out in the mid-day sun.”
  59. evolve (v): undergo development or evolution ⇒ ” The upshot is another piece of evidence that humans, like many mammals which have evolved in tropical climes, are adapted not to go out in the mid-day sun.”
  60. tropical (adj): of or relating to the tropics, or either tropic ⇒ ” The upshot is another piece of evidence that humans, like many mammals which have evolved in tropical climes, are adapted not to go out in the mid-day sun.”
  61. clime (n): the weather in some location averaged over some period of time ⇒ ” The upshot is another piece of evidence that humans, like many mammals which have evolved in tropical climes, are adapted not to go out in the mid-day sun.”
  62. adapt (v): make fit for or change to suit a new purpose ⇒ ” The upshot is another piece of evidence that humans, like many mammals which have evolved in tropical climes, are adapted not to go out in the mid-day sun.”
  63. crepuscular (adj): like twilight ⇒ ” They are, rather, crepuscular – that is, they are most active in the morning and the evening.”
  64. protestant (adj): of or relating to protestants ⇒ ” The protestant work – ethic that drives those now living in colder climates to work throughout the day may actually be counterproductive.”
  65. work-ethic (n): work by using the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group ⇒ ” The protestant work – ethic that drives those now living in colder climates to work throughout the day may actually be counterproductive.”
  66. drive (v): leads into something ⇒ ” The protestant work – ethic that drives those now living in colder climates to work throughout the day may actually be counterproductive.”
  67. counterproductive (adj): tending to hinder the achievement of a goal ⇒ ” The protestant work – ethic that drives those now living in colder climates to work throughout the day may actually be counterproductive.”

Exercises

Fill in each blank with the appropriate word, making changes where necessary: perform, vindication, established, perception, indulge, deteriorate, acute, opportunity, identify, mere

1. The success of your operation completely …………………… my faith in the doctor.

2. The surgeon has ………………… the operation.

3. She lost the election by a …………………. 20 votes.

4. This is a drug which alters one’s ………………… of visual stimuli.

5. He was well …………………… as a painter.

6. Dogs have an ……………………. sense of smell.

7. The pupils ………………….. their passion for stamp collecting.

Improve Your Vocabulary for IELTS Writing & Speaking
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