Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise – Benjamin Franklin
This quote by Franklin has entered our daily parlance but it is much more than just a line. It speaks the truth about how essential good sleep is to health and success. Good sleep ensures that the mind and body remain fit and in good working condition. On average, eight hours of good quality sleep is known to be the basic need of an adult human body (this figure may vary from person to person).
Yet, with tight deadlines, busy schedules and anxieties at work, the first thing that gets hit is our sleep. And prolonged sleep deprivation can destroy your health. To ensure a good mood, increased levels of energy, creative thinking capabilities, improved decision making, and better memory, we need to ensure that you get your fill of good quality sleep.
Still wondering what the hullabaloo is all about? Let’s take a look at what a lack of sleep can do to you.
“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired” – Fannie Lou Hamer
Sound familiar? That is what can happen once fatigue sets in due to lack of sleep. According to Dr. Eric j. Olson, lack of sleep or an excess of it can affect the immune system. A study shows that unhealthy sleep patterns can make an individual more likely to get sick after exposure to a virus. Thus, less sleep results in more sick days at work. If you don’t want to get fired for excess leaves – sleep well.
Loss in productivity
In a 2017 study by the Better Sleep Council, researchers found that the more sleep-deprived you are, the slower you are at getting work done. If you don’t want to burn out before your time, focus on quality sleep.
Sleep can negatively impact the economy
Your sleep deprivation can have consequences on the company’s bottom line. A Harvard study stated that sleep deprivation could be costing the US economy USD411 billion each year due to lost productivity.
Research published in The Wall Street Journal showed that an extra hour in average sleep over the long run is linked to a 16% bump in salaries, for those not getting enough sleep.
Less sleep = early job burnout
Did you know that sleeping fewer than six hours could be a predictor of job burnout?
Dr. Lawrence Epstein, chief medical officer of Sleep Health Centers, believes there are no stock sleep solutions, and it takes some trial and error to find what works for you.
But it’s important that you do because sleep is “a basic biological necessity—just like eating—and it has an impact on every aspect of your health and your life.”
So how do you get the shut-eye when it’s playing elusive? Try these tips:
Be punctual with sleep
Going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning—even on weekends — keeps your biological clock steady. Exposure to a regular pattern of light and dark is known to help, so open up those blinds or head to the balcony right after you get out of bed.
Timely exercise routine
Working out is known to improve the length and quality of your sleep, especially if you include cardio in your exercise. But remember that vigorous aerobic exercise can elevate your body temperature and keep it up for about four hours, inhibiting sleep. So, time your exercise session right.
Reduce caffeine intake
It may seem innocuous, but caffeine can be a potent stimulant, one that stays in your system for eight hours. You may need your cappuccino or Americano to get through the work day but having it post 4 p.m. could wire you up. Tea and cola contain caffeine too – so consume judiciously.
Set the stage
Apart from a comfortable mattress and pillow, experts recommend setting your bedroom thermostat between 65° and 75°F for good sleep. Slipping between cool sheets is known to trigger a drop in body temperature, which leads the body to produce sleep-inducing melatonin. Certain smells, including lavender, chamomile and ylang-ylang, relax the mind and body and help you sleep more soundly.
The secret to a good sleep ritual
Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post, emphasizes the importance of winding down before hitting the bed. In her book, The Sleep Revolution, she writes that good sleep makes “everything better.” Here's her four-step nightly ritual: ditch the devices, take a hot bath, dress for bed and read a book. Giving the body time to transition from an active day to sleep time sets you up for better sleep.
The sleep.com website suggests that if “you’re feeling drowsy during the day and don’t want it to compromise your work performance, one solution is to try taking a catnap for 10 to 20 minutes.”
Remember, good sleep is the key to health and that promotion you have been waiting for! However, if your current work is giving you sleepless nights, time to make a change. Find Better, Faster here.