A good night’s sleep can help you succeed in business and in life!
We’re big believers in the work hard, rest harder mindset. That’s how it goes, right? Studies have shown that the more well-rested you are, the more productive you’re able to be, which we think should be obvious…
But can a better night’s sleep really affect your career success? Let’s start by looking at the ways sleep deprivation affects your work life.
- More sick days. The less you sleep, the more susceptible you are to falling ill. In a recent study published in the journal Sleep, Tea Lallukka, Ph.D. found workers who reported sleeping less than 5 hours at night were more likely to stay home sick about 4.6 to 8.9 days more than those who slept between 7 to 8 hours a night. “Loss of well-being, health and work ability, the costs of poor sleep are high not only due to sickness absenteeism, but also sickness presenteeism (e.g. working sleep deprived),” Lallukka told Huffington Post. “It would be good to increase awareness of the importance of healthy sleep patterns, and aim to detect sleep disturbances at early phase to prevent them from becoming chronic.”
- Loss of memory. “You may have trouble holding multiple things, like three or four numbers, in your head at once,” says Sean P.A. Drummond, Ph.D., director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine and Mood Disorders Psychotherapy in the Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System.
- Attention & concentration. Do you notice your mind drifting or find it hard to focus? “This is the first place it’s [sleep deprivation] is apparent, especially if you’re trying to concentrate for a sustained time,” Drummond told WebMD.
- Poor decision making. It becomes more difficult to assess stressful situations (due to lack of concentration and attention) and make the right decision. “People think if they work more hours they will be able to get ahead of people who chose to work less and sleep more,” Doctor Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, told Forbes. We now know that this is not true. People who choose to sleep will perform better athletically, socially, and in business.”
- Slow reaction times. Pushing late into the night is a health and productivity killer. According to an article on Entrepreneur, the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School reported that short-term productivity gains from skipping sleep to work are quickly washed away by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on mood, ability to focus, and access to higher-level brain functions for days to come. The negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep.
Sleep tips that add up to career success
If you’ve traded your bright-eyed and bushy tailed self for someone you no longer recognize, it’s time to get off that crash course to burnout city. Need some help? Check out these articles to help you line up your passion and purpose with life outside of work.
- Practice yoga in the evening. Doing yoga later in the day reduces pent up muscle stress and helps you begin the relaxation needed for sleep – long before you get to bed. If yoga’s new to you, start slow and don’t overstretch. This yoga tutorial will help you with poses that are believed to be best for preparing for rest and relaxation.
- Drink warm milk. What if a better night’s sleep was a close as a bedtime snack? Sleep experts have long believed diet can directly impact sleep quality and quantity. Our mothers have always known this. Whether its glass of warm milk or a cup of chamomile tea or even a nibble of dark chocolate, food can be powerful medicine. Enjoy your bedtime snack.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it. We’re creatures of habit and sticking to a sleep routine is the easiest way to get the sleep we need every night. Pick a doable bedtime and stick to it. Anticipating that moment you’ll lie your head down on your pillow and close your eyes will set off a complicated set of triggers in your brain – all aimed at shutting things down so you can rest.
- Set a bedtime for your electronics. Light plays an important role in our ability to sleep and wake at expected times. Electronics emit a cool, bright light that’s similar to sunrise – not the deep, warm colors of sunset. While cool light helps us see our screens better, it also sends a wake-up call to our brains. Stop sending mixed signals to your brain by powering down electronics an hour before bed. .
- Cool & darken your room. But be careful. Too cold and you’ll be shivering and hunting for another blanket in the middle of the night. Set your thermostat for 65-69F or crack open your window if your bedroom is naturally warm. A temperature-controlled-mattress is another great option.
- Read a book. Now that you’ve put electronics to bed and the TV’s off limits, we recommend a good old-fashioned book. Snuggle up in your favorite chair or crawl into bed and dive in – best sleep medicine in the world.
- Hydrate earlier in the day. If you’ve ever taken a prescription to help you sleep, you either slept like a dream or felt it was a waste of your money that delivered nothing more than a slew of uncomfortable side effects. If you want to stay on the drug-free side of healthy sleep, start with a big glass of water – before your first coffee in the morning. Early hydration and a protein-rich breakfast kick starts your metabolism, which will help you make healthier choices for the rest of the day.
- Cut out the caffeine earlier in the day. While no one can tell you exactly how much coffee is safe before life with less sleep is your reality, research is helping us understand what constitutes sensible coffee consumption.
- Meditate during the day. If you’re stressed, your sleep suffers and suffering from sleep deprivation can lead to increased stress – talk about a vicious cycle. So how do you slow down, de-stress and sleep better? There’s no one answer that will work for everyone but a few tweaks to your sleep schedule may help you slow your pace and catch a better night’s sleep.
- Create a sleep spa. Sleep spas are the newest thing with the spa-goer set. It might be a fad but what if you could create a sleep spa in your own bedroom? We’re betting you’ll wake up bent on maintaining your status as a newly anointed sleep ambassador. Thankfully creating a sleep spa at home isn’t difficult – as long as you’re focused on the goal. Learn how to create your own sleep spa.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Sleep aids for better sleep
- Can CBD oil help you sleep better?
- Heart health, sleep and how you can live longer