You may have been brought up with the saying ‘you snooze, you lose’, and within this industry, it can be a common mindset & belief that any time away from work is allowing your competitors to get the edge over you.
But what if you embraced that by getting a quality night sleep consistently is what actually gives you the performance edge over others? Sharper thinking, stronger decision-making skills, more productive hours, fewer errors and therefore providing quality over quantity.
Studies have shown that around 8 hours of sleep per night is recommended for adults (with some may needing more and some less), but the key is also in what time you are actually getting to bed to allow your body to get back to and align with its natural rhythms. Ideally, you want to aim be in bed between 9 pm up to 10:30 pm at the very latest, otherwise, our cortisol levels start to rise again which gets us in that tired and wired stage, also referred to by some as their second wind.
If you feel you haven’t been giving your sleep the attention it deserves, below are some tips to get back on track:
- Try to go to bed and wake around the same time 7 days per week trying to keep your body in the same sleeping pattern.
- The closer you get to bed when it gets dark out and the closer you wake up to when the sun rises the more natural energy you will have.
- Take a gentle approach if you want to try to change your bedtime and wake time. Simply move your bedtime back 15 minutes each week so that your body has time to adjust to this new schedule in a kinder way.
- Be mindful of when you are eating in relation to your bedtime making sure you allow 2-3 hours once you have finished eating before you to bed so you are not sleeping on a full stomach.
- For those who struggle with falling asleep, create the right sleep environment at home. This can be things such as avoiding all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed and/or dimming the lights around the house (salt lamps can be great to avoid that blue light otherwise make sure you are using the warm light globes around your home).
Sleep is what allows our body to turn off the stress and catabolic nature of the day and begin to rebuild overnight.
As Arianna Huffington says, ‘sleep your way to the top’.
Guest article by - Jaclyn Visch
Habits & Wellbeing Coach