This is a guest article contributed by Ashley Hayes from SleepHeavn.
Let us face the moment of truth… you are sitting in the conference room with the most important presentation being discussed before you… you are expected to grasp all those numbers and figures and come up with valuable inputs, but let us see how are things at your end.
You sit dressed in the most bespoke suit, equipped with all the papers and files skillfully gathered and prepared for the night but with droopy, fluttering eyes and a floating, wandering mind that yearns for sleep.
All researched numbers and analytics which on a normal day was a cake walk for you; looks like Einstein’s rarest theory which has difficulty entering your brain.
If you have ever skipped a night of sleep, or experienced days of bad and insufficient sleep you will second this real life scenario.
The American Academy of Sleep Research states than an average individual should ideally sleep for 7-8 hours.
Whereas, a survey carried out amongst a group of professionals in America revealed that the average sleep duration for them was around 6 hours 28 minutes.
While the goodness of sleep for 30 minutes may not sound so convincing, but its deprivation surely does sound alarming.
Yes, sleep deprivation is the foremost factor that can hinder your performance at the workplace and visibly reduce your productivity, bringing your career to a sudden bolt.
Here we share with you the 7 most essential science based sleep tips that assure to increase your potential to perform with enhanced productivity. Take a look…
#1 Reduce or delete intake of toxic drinks
Alcohol is the biggest deterrent to good sleep. While it may drive you into sleep quickly, it can disturb your sleep schedule and leave you struggling for sleep in the wee hours.
Similarly, coffee that helps to keep you awake and alert may trigger insomnia, making it difficult rather impossible for you to sleep. Caffeine stays in your blood for about 14 hours, so if you have a late night cup of coffee it is likely to ruin your night.
If you are a smoker, nicotine withdrawal for 7-8 hours of sleep can hinder sound sleep with the urge to wake up and puff a smoke. Try to control your nicotine intake too if you are aiming for a good sleep.
Read this interesting article about how caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can affect your sleep from Sleep Health Foundation.
#2 Define your sleep schedule
Tune into your circadian rhythm and identify what works best for you. For some, it may be 8 hours of blissful sleep while for other 6 hours may do the magic.
Find out your sleep schedule. While doing so keep the following in mind:
- Never snooze the alarm clock to borrow extra sleep.
- If you lose sleep someday do not try to compensate for it by sleeping extra on the next day. This disrupts your sleep schedule.
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This tunes your internal body clock.
- Avoid late naps towards the evening, which can seriously hinder good sleep at night.
- Avoid staying up late at night just to catch up on your daily soap or a favorite movie.
#3 Create a sleep environment
A relaxing activity like sleeping also requires you to create an environment and prepare your mind and body for sleep.
Choose an ambience that is soothing and calming, naturally relaxing your brain and preparing you to fall asleep. Paint the walls of your bedroom in soft soothing colors like soft blue or lavender that induces sleep and helps to alleviate the darkness of the night.
Ensure that the room is noiseless and no external disturbances can disturb your internal peace. Use a white noise machine to balance the noise of your sleeping area and induce sleep.
If the air in the room is too dry, use a humidifier to balance the moisture content, so that it does not disturb your sleep or leave you with respiratory disorders.
#4 Ban all electronic and light emitting gadgets from your bedroom
This tip should be on the top of your list. Yes, never ever try to invite sleep through the use of an iPad, smart phone, tablet, laptop or any other light emitting gadget.
While you may justify by saying that it slowly allows you to drift into sleep, the truth is that it drifts you away from good sleep.
The light emitted by the electronic gadgets actually signals to your brain to stay alert and awake, thus your brain is confused by these signals and stimulates by staying alert rather than falling asleep.
#5 Sleep naturally without medications
While popping a sleeping pill or asking your doctor to prescribe medicines to induce sleep can be an easy remedy to fight sleep disorders, in the long run, they can result in more severe sleep problems.
Your body is likely to develop an over dependence on these medications, forcing you to divulge in them at the cost of your health.
#6 Keep your worries out
We all know that ‘Worry Kills’ but worry kills your sleep more than anything else. If your brain is cluttered with the day’s activities, tensions and stresses then it is most likely to affect not only your health but your sleeping abilities too.
A brain that is speeding with thoughts can never go to rest.
So, unwind in the true sense, leave your worries outside your bedroom, indulge in some light meditation or simply write a personal diary note to pour out your worries, but never go to bed with a loaded brain.
#7 Prepare for sleep personally
Yes, prepare yourself for a good night of sleep by adopting some personal habits.
Have a shower before going to bed. It lowers your body temperature and prepares your mind mentally to indulge in sleep. If possible use a few drops of essential oils like lavender or some natural fragrance that uplifts your mood and soothes your strained muscles.
Keep the bed linen and cushion covers clean. Try to use organic cotton covers. They increase breathability and offer better air flow.
Keep your pets away from your bed. They no doubt give you a good cuddle but at the same time leave around their furs and a galore of infection causing germs.
Indulge in some light mindless activity like listening to your list of favorite songs or do some light reading. Believe me, the black and white print has a miraculous effect in drawing your eyelids closer to each other and inducing sleep.
Prefer a light night snack which is packed with the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates like an avocado. It helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels at night and also provide sufficient proteins for protein synthesis during your sleeping hours, which in turn repairs and re-grows your cells.
If you feel comfortable with warm feet, pull on a pair of organic cotton socks. They not only keep your feet warm but also protect them from dryness.
And not to forget, your sleep accessories like a good mattress and a quality pillow play an important role in accentuating sleep all through the night.
Choose a mattress keeping in mind your body weight, sleep position and your movements during the night. A right quality mattress aligns your body perfectly and provides added support needed for a good sleep.
Alright… backed by these seven tips you can look forward to having a restful and beautiful sleep that accelerates your performance and sees you on the upward hill of progress.
Remember, a weak and unrested body may perform well for short periods of time but in the long run, it shall burn out.
Depriving your body of the much-needed rest or sleep can lead to a host of medical issues and many productivity errors. While you may not even realize but you may miss out on important data, a piece of the announcement made amidst a host of conversations, the instructions flowing from the higher professional hierarchy, etc.
All this starts reflecting in your growing disinterest towards works, finding the simple ordinary task difficult to accomplish, having difficulty taking decisions and ending up doing errors which can tarnish your image and reputation built ardently over the years.
So, the next time you think of delaying sleep or subject your body to sleep deprivation… just stop and contemplate the repercussions it can cause.
While some of the effects may not be obvious, but they are sure to reflect on your ability to perform or on your general productivity in the long run.
Build up your productivity on a strong base of sound sleep that strengthens your body from within.
Like a machine performs to its optimum when each and every ancillary part that makes it up is well lubricated and fitted well, similarly, our body performs its best when each tissue and muscle has received its share of rest and relief.
Our performance and productivity is a reflection of our inner health-both physical and mental, make sure that you let that goodness reflect through a proper dose of sound and blissful sleep.
Snore soundly and perform astoundingly!
About The Author:
My name is Ashley Hayes and I am the editor in chief at SleepHeavn. It has been almost a decade since I was first diagnosed with Insomnia. But believe me, since then I have absorbed myself in this intriguing world of sleep. Over the years, I have researched about sleep, talked to experts, read hundreds of journals and talked to family and friends to collect their experiences about sleep, sleep products and all that affects sleep.