Sleep is critically important for your productivity. Experts suggest 7 to 9 hours every night.
But it’s important to set yourself up for sleep success. You do that by creating a routine.
Here are 7 ideas to consider.
STOP CONSUMING CAFFEINE AFTER 2PM
Personally, I have chosen to give up all drinks except for mountain spring water (95%) and zero sugar sports drinks for after my daily runs (5%). If you’re going to do this, I encourage you to only have water in your house. It’s all we have to drink at our house. Zero temptation.
All water is not created equal. Find water that you can afford and that tastes delicious and you’ll cheerfully drink it a lot.
Caffeine affects different people different ways but eliminating caffeine will help you sleep better.
AVOID LATE NIGHTS
It’s best – as much as possible – to go to bed at the same time and arise at the same time. This puts your body into a rhythm.
Going to bed (and getting up) at different times causes inconsistent sleep…which affects your energy level (and your ability to be effectively productive).
CUT OFF SCREEN TIME 60 MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME
Put those phones, tablets, laptops and gaming consoles away and stop watching TV at least an hour before you are lights out.
What should you do instead? Read a book (print or a Kindle – not the Kindle app on your phone or tablet) or magazine. You could also have a nice conversation with someone (not using technology) or write in your journal or planner.
If you have a television in your bedroom, I encourage you remove it or unplug it so you’re not tempted. Bedrooms are for sleeping and for sex. Keep the television in another room.
COOL YOUR BEDROOM
Studies have shown that you’ll sleep better if your room is on the cool side and all light is blocked out.
If you can’t sleep in absolute silence (I can’t), use an app on your smart phone to provide some white noise or soundscapes like waves crashing or thunderstorms. And no cheating! Don’t sneak a peak at social media or your email when you fire up the app!.
You could also use a fan (my preference as I also like air moving around when I sleep…even in the wintertime).
GET A COMFORTABLE MATTRESS
If you’re sleeping 7 to 9 hours a night as recommended, why sleep on a mattress that doesn’t give you a quality night of sleep?
Invest in a good mattress. The right one will serve you for years and will help your productivity improve.
AS YOU LAY YOUR HEAD DOWN
The final thoughts as you drift off to sleep should not be about what went wrong but instead what went right.
Think of everything that was awesome about your day. Count every blessing you have – you have way more than you think you do.
YOU, SLEEPING AND KIDS
One note about kids. They won’t know how to go to bed unless you teach them. Set up a routine for them (like you have, right?) and encourage them to follow it. Maybe reward them appropriately.
The key to training your kids and you is consistency.
STOP TAKING SLEEP FOR GRANTED
Use the tips I shared in this article to go to bed and get a quality night sleep so you are a productive force of nature the next time.