Work Slipping? You Need This!
Oh, my precious sleep,
I have taken you for granted for so many years!
I stayed up late and got up early, shortchanging you often.
I worried and stressed many nights, reducing your quality.
And the result…not my best contributions or mood the next day.
With the passing of time, I have learned to value you dearly.
I treasure you above all else.
I forgo all devices for you.
The more time I invest with you,
the more clear-headed, creative, and innovative my thinking.
My relationships have strengthened, and my performance enhanced.
Why, oh why did I not make you a priority before now?
We’re getting less sleep, and it’s a problem.
32.6% of working adults reported sleeping six or fewer hours per night in 2017-2018, a figure which has climbed from 28.4% in 2008-2009. To truly be at our best, we need to make quality sleep a top priority.
One of the best ways to do that is to focus on improving your ‘sleep hygiene’– having a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. When you keep a stable sleep schedule, make your bedroom comfortable and free of disruptions, follow a relaxing pre-bed routine, and build healthy habits during the day, all of these factors will contribute to cultivating your ideal sleep hygiene. Restorative practices like daily exercise, meditation for stress relief, and eliminating caffeine after 2 pm help prepare you for a good night of slumber.
Lack of sleep may increase dementia
And if I haven’t convinced you to make sleep a priority yet, maybe this will. According to the National Institute of Health, losing sleep in middle age may increase your risk of dementia. Compared to those getting normal sleep (defined as 7 hours), people getting less rest each night were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. In addition to dementia, not getting enough sleep is linked to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Here’s what I did…
I have struggled with getting restful and consistent sleep over the years. I found myself always keeping a running list of the next day’s activities in my mind, ruminating on conversations and projects that I wished I could do over, and stressing over upcoming presentations. After taking a vacation and sleeping soundly for seven nights straight and seeing a substantial difference in myself, from mood to energy level, I finally decided to prioritize sleep.
Before I boarded the flight home, I ordered a Halo to monitor my sleep. It’s about $100, and it not only tracks the amount of sleep I get each night, the quality of my sleep, and the time I spend in each of the different cycles of sleep – light sleep, REM, and deep sleep. It has been enlightening and extremely helpful in improving my sleep’s amount, efficiency, and quality. All in all, my Halo is helping me make sleep a top priority in my life. Whether you try the same tool, find an alternative, or just spend some concentrated time improving your routine and your sleep hygiene, you’ll be better for it!
Bottom line: Don’t take your sleep for granted. Value and improve it. Quality sleep will enhance your career and your life!