If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I place high value on regular, quality sleep as an essential habit for overall health and day-to-day performance. In fact, I’ve created a couple of videos on the topic: Sleep Your Way to the Top and How to be Great in Bed. Don’t let the titles sway you, they’re both G-rated and full of great sleep tips.
Because I’m such a fan of sleep as a high-performance aid, I was thrilled when the good people at Tuck Sleep offered to share some of their expertise with you by way of a guest blog written by contributor Mary Lee, and supported by science. Their website is a fantastic resource for all things sleep, so go check it out, and make better sleep a bigger priority.
Boost Your Productivity with Better Sleep
Giving your best so you can meet your personal and professional goals relies on your ability to think and act your best. Getting better (and more) sleep can help you improve your health and boost your overall productivity.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Your body takes a heavy hit when it doesn’t get a full seven to eight hours of sleep. A few of the effects of sleep deprivation that can get in the way of your productivity are:
- Short-Term Memory Loss: Sleep deprivation often leads to “lost” time where you don’t remember the last few seconds. It also affects your recall ability, making it difficult to perform at your best when you’re struggling to remember vital information.
- Compromised Immune System: The immune system weakens without adequate sleep. You’ll find yourself getting sick more often and taking longer to fight off infection. That also means more sick days, potentially costing you money as well.
- Increased Appetite: When you’re sleep deprived, the brain releases more hunger hormone and less satiety hormone. You’ll find yourself more likely to overeat unhealthy, high-fat foods.
- Increased Risk of Disease: There’s a long list of diseases and conditions associated with sleep loss including dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. While sleep loss may not directly cause all of these conditions, the detrimental effects it has on your overall health makes you far more likely to develop them.
Many of these effects are the reason that businesses lose more than $2000 per employee annually. In the United States that translates to nearly $411 billion per year to productivity loss. The good news—you can create better sleep habits and reduce productivity loss.
Boost Your Productivity by Getting Better (and More) Sleep
Despite the many aspects of modern life that contribute to sleep loss, you can make changes in your sleep-related habits that will clear your mind, improve your health, and give your productivity an extra boost.
Good sleep hygiene, all those habits in your life that promote better sleep, can help you get the high-quality rest you need to wake refreshed and ready to accomplish your goals. A bedroom that’s cool, quiet, and dark sets the right atmosphere along with an appropriate mattress that supports your preferred sleep position. After that, it’s all about creating the habits that help you fall and stay asleep.
Develop a Bedtime Routine
The body thrives on consistency and routine. A bedtime routine can help signal your brain when it’s time to start releasing sleep hormones. Your routine should include activities that relax and calm your mind and body. A warm bath, warm cup of milk, meditation, or gentle yoga can all be good ways to release tension and signal the brain that it’s time to shut down for the day.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
When you keep a consistent bed and wake time, your brain adjusts and recognizes when it’s time to start getting sleepy and when it’s time to wake up. Try to keep your sleep schedule on weekdays and weekends for the most benefits.
Turn Off the Screens
We live in an electronic world where we’re always connected. The bright light from televisions, computers, e-readers, and smartphones can cause the brain to think it’s daytime. Turn off electronics an hour before bed to keep your brain and the rest of your body on your sleep schedule.
Mary Lee is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She specializes in sleep’s role in mental and physical health and wellness. Mary lives in Olympia, Washington and shares her full-sized bed with a very noisy cat.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guest post. Let me know if there are other sleep topics you’d like to read about. Until next time I’m Michelle Cederberg, helping you boost your success-energy, one recharge at a time.
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