You’re getting sleepier and sleepier . . .
I’ve been thinking a lot about sleep quite a bit lately-sometimes while lying wide awake in bed at night! The statistics for sleeplessness both in the U.S. and worldwide are down right, well, eye-opening. Over half of Americans are not getting anywhere near the required 7-9 hours per night. The average is more like 6 depending on which research you find. Lack of sleep is linked to everything from increased chance of obesity to heart disease. It does not help that most of us work in environments that require/allow us to be connected at all times. Enlightened companies are starting to provide employees flexible hours and the chance to work at home. Shift work can be especially problematic however as it disrupts our natural circadium rhythms. Lack of sleep is also linked to poor concentration and work performance and declines in the cognitive functions of our brains. And certainly all of us know that being tired affects our moods with loved ones and co workers.
In short lack of sleep has no upside. Easily said, when you work with a global company or even one that simply intrudes upon your personal life in a way that compromises your sleep. Most of us can find work arounds that can help us become better rested even in the face of a world that conspires against us. Some tips include:
-More breaks during the day where you can meditate or close your eyes even for 10 minutes
-Naps (talk to your human resource executive)-even 30 minutes a day can do wonders
-Making sure you create a conducive sleep environment at home. Keep your bedroom free of work related
technology and materials and make sure it is dark to remind your brain to sleep deeply.
-Do not eat or drink after 7 or 8 p.m. at night.
-Make a list of “to do’s” at the end of each day to free your mind for relaxation.
-Create and apply relaxing bedtime routines each night wherever possible.
-If you think you might have sleep apnea see your doctor for a sleep assessment.
All of us deserve to have a good night’s sleep. Be reminded that this will not happen unless you take matters into your own hands.
Be rested. Be happier and more effective.