Approximately 70% of UK adults don’t get the right amount of sleep. It’s bad for our memory, our communication and our creativity, all key skills for success at work. Try these 3 top tips for getting more and better sleep.
Do you get enough sleep?
You need a minimum of 8 hours sleep per night. Any less and your brain doesn’t get the opportunity it needs to repair, restore and organise itself. Its bad for your health and it means you can’t work at your best.
Have you ever thought ‘I need to stay up late to get stuff done’? Well research tells us you would probably be better off going to sleep. Your brain is better after the rest it needs, meaning your waking hours would be more effective and efficient. From a sleep and neuroscience point of view, its about the quality not quantity of hours in your day. If you haven’t had enough sleep, the quality of your waking hours will be low, and the outputs will be too.
Common symptoms of poor sleep
- Not taking stuff in
- Not being articulate in your communication
- Struggling to come up with ideas
- Difficulty solving problems
A good nights sleep primes your brain for whats to come, ready to learn new things and be effective at work. Sleep also pushes the save button at the end of a day of activity, committing to memory all the information received that day.
Top tips for a good nights sleep
Tip 1: Stop snoozing on the sofa
To have good nights sleep, you need to be sleepy. Sleepiness builds over the day, until bedtime, when you fall asleep and release the build up. Sleepiness is also what keeps you asleep through the night, stopping you from having interrupted sleep.
You need to allow your sleepiness to build to a level where its easy to fall asleep, and stay asleep for long enough to achieve all the benefits of a good nights rest. If you feel you’re nodding in the evening, go to bed. You don’t want to be snoozing on the sofa and taking the edge off your sleepiness. It impacts on the whole night.
Tip 2: Nail a bedtime routine
The brain loves associations, good and bad. You need to build a strong association that says ‘it’s time for sleep’. It’s about what you do, so a routine of removing makeup, a drink that isn’t alcohol or caffeine, reading. Whatever, it’s up to you. Just be consistent. It’s also about the environment you create in your bedroom; no screens, dark and cool is best.
Tip 3: Have a consistent sleep schedule
Keep to a schedule as far as possible. If you miss hours sleep, they can’t be gained back because you can’t run a debit and credit account for your sleep hours. Try a regular bedtime and wake time.
Give it a try!
Give it a go and see what works for you, play with it. Make bedtime a nice relaxing ritual and you’ll be rewarded with improved memory, learning, creativity and energy!
If you would like to know more about how you can boost your skills to progress at work, why not get in touch with me for a chat, there’s no cost and no obligation.
I used information from the following sources:
- Aviva Wellbeing Report 2017
- Prof Matthew Walker 2017
- The Sleep Council Great British Bedtime Report