By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes
Sleep and performance go hand in hand. Just ask any professional athlete how important rest is to having a good game. Not getting enough sleep can impair your cognitive abilities, and this will show up in your work sooner or later.
When my clients come to me feeling frazzled and burnt out, the first thing I ask them is how much sleep they’re getting each night. Science has proven that seven to nine hours is the optimal amount of sleep needed for the average adult. If you’re not regularly getting enough sleep, you’ll undoubtedly experience the effects of sleep deprivation, impacting your health, sanity, and performance at work.
Do I have your attention yet? Are you still awake?
Here are five hacks to help you get better sleep and better performance at work.
1. Sleep seven to nine hours each night. Let’s cut straight to the chase. If you aren’t sleeping at least seven hours each night, you aren’t sleeping enough. Schedule time in your calendar to sleep if you have to. Consider this a non-negotiable so you can start to have way more energy at work.
2. Put away all electronic devices at least one hour before bed. Turn off your laptop and put your iPhone where you can’t be tempted by it. Put it on Airplane mode if you have to. Just leave all devices out of sight, out of mind, for at least one hour before getting some shuteye. Using these devices before going to bed delays and reduces REM sleep, and compromises alertness the next morning. Over time, these effects can add up to a significant, chronic deficiency in sleep.
3. Reset your sleep cycle. We all have a built-in sleep schedule. This schedule can get thrown off if you’ve pulled an all-nighter or if you’ve done a lot of traveling between time zones on a business trip. It’s important to get it back on track and keep it there, so your body can receive optimal rest.
4. Invest in sleep aid technology. The sleep aid market is projected to reach $80.8 billion by the end of 2020. Cleary there’s a need here. Do your research and see what works for you. The market offers everything from sleep monitoring devices to sleep acoustics and breathing apps. If you have a serious problem, consider consulting with a sleep doctor
5. Meditate before bed. According to this Harvard study, a mindfulness meditation helps to fight insomnia and improve sleep. How often do you go to bed with your mind racing, unable to make your worries about tomorrow’s meeting go away? A way to combat a mind that just won’t quit is by eliciting a relaxation response. First, choose something calming to focus on, like the word “peace.” Second, let go and relax. That’s it. Just focus on the word you’ve chosen and continue to breathe until you drift off to sleep.
Remember, getting enough sleep pays — literally. Take your sleep seriously, and get some shuteye tonight! You’ll thank me for it in the morning, (and your boss will thank you for it later).
When you get the proper amount of rest night after night, you’re able to perform to your full potential. Invest those seven to nine hours of sleep into yourself each night, and start each day with a recharged brain.
For a FREE course to land a new job you love, launch your dream business, or find your purpose, visit https://ashleystahl.com/