Harvard research study found that, for the average worker, insomnia leads to the loss of 11.3 days’ worth of productivity each calendar year. That’s the equivalent of $2,280 (Forbes.com). If you are in a position of leadership, take a moment and think about if one-fifth of your employees suffered from some form of sleep deprivation. Whether it be an individual not being able to fall asleep early or waking up in the middle of the night, hours before they’re due up with the inability to fall back to sleep. We all can agree that any form of interruption to our nightly sleep throws off the ability to function through the remainder of the day. So let’s have a brief discussion on effective nighttime rest preparation.
My father used to say that if you’re not up before the sun comes up then you’ve already given away too much of your day. Of course that can be arguable. The idea is that we make the most of our day while also maintaining our physical and mental health throughout it. So, with that being said, the importance of a well rested evening ranks very high on the scale of wellness and health of self. So many times we do not track the amount of time that we are not sleeping and simply resting. It’s important that an individual receives that appropriate amount of rest so that they are able to function at their highest level throughout their day. To find success in the day should be measured, not by how much you move throughout the day but by how much you complete and produce in the 24 hours that we have.
I can sleep when I die.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. You will die if you don’t sleep enough. I performing individuals and entrepreneurs have a bad habit that is somehow ingrained in us, that somehow we’ve been led to believe about not having to rest accordingly. Yes, there are only 24 hours in the day. Yes, it is important to maximize the functional time in which we use those 24 hours in being productive. Yes, as an entrepreneur and high performing individual our brains are in octane mode and we have to figure out how to be responsible to our health and slow down enough so that we can maintain effective productivity. Therefore sleep and proper moments in our day to rest are very important.
If we do not create a system to function throughout our day you could be operating in full disarray. Here are some pointers to help with preparing yourself for more restful evenings and productive days.
At some point throughout your day make it a point to make sure you get at least a half hour of exercise in. If you are not able to exercise until the evening, then try to focus on relaxing exercises prior to laying down for bed. Doing things such as stretching, yoga or even simply curling your toes and relaxing them before you call it a night will help to relax your mind and body.
Avoid alcohol and chocolate before bed.
Although having a cocktail after a long day of work is idea, it is not ideal to have one right before going to bed. In actuality it works against you have a good and thorough nights sleep. Now alcohol is great at helping you to fall asleep, however, it’s bad before bed because the second part of you sleeping will become disrupted from the consumption of alcohol before bed. The same could go for chocolate. Not that chocolate will aid you in falling asleep but that it will actually do the opposite. If you find yourself consuming a chocolate bar before bed, you’ll more than likely find yourself counting sheep, cows, lambs and whatever else may be coming into your head. A piece of chocolate has approximately 9 milligrams up to 40 milligrams depending on whether it is milk chocolate or dark chocolate. However, chocolate can have three times as much caffeine as a decaf cup of coffee at a minimum. Hence, more than capable of keeping you up at night.
Wind down before bed.
As the day finally comes to an end, it’s important to start preparing your body, mind and home for rest. Start by dimming the lights in your home. Also, “unplug” and stop use of your computer and phone at least an hour before going to bed. This will allow you the chance to let your brain process completely all that you’ve taken in off of the devices. Also, place your phone and computer in a distant room, so that it is not directly next to you and forces you to wake up the next morning to get out of bed to turn off your alarm. Lastly, try to read a book or magazine before bed. This helps to calm the mind and filter out the last of your daily stresses that may be related to work or other pressing issues. If you’re not one to read at night, try deep breathing activities before bed to relax the mind and body as well.
With the practice of these activities and habits, along with many others that are available, you are sure to have a well rested night and more eventful and productive day to follow.