Could Sleep be the Key to Your Career Success?

Sleeping womanGetting enough sleep plays a large role in your health and happiness. Sleep-deprived people have a hard time focusing, which has a detrimental effect on both learning and performance abilities. This lack of focus can also often lead to accident and injury on the job!

Research has shown that sleep is crucial for mental and physical health, quality of life, and safety, but according to the National Institute of Health, 50-70 million adults have sleep disorders and over 1/3 of Americans get less than 7 hours of sleep per night.

Long-term effects of sleep deprivation can include high blood pressure, weight gain, inflammation, impaired glucose control, and increased conditions including heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Not getting enough sleep also impacts your mood, motivation, and judgment. Long-term mood disorders associated with sleep deprivation include depression, anxiety, and chronic stress.

Do you think you sleep well? Take the sleep quiz to see how you rate!

Improve Your Sleep Habits – Follow these tips for a good night's sleep: 

  • Aim for seven to eight hours per night, even if that means rearranging your schedule.
  • Create a good sleep environment (temperature, noise level, and lighting.)
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, big meals, and rigorous exercise close to bedtime.
  • Set a schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
  • Exercise daily, but not within a few hours of going to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol within several hours of bedtime, all of which can cause sleep deprivation or missing an important stage of the sleep cycle.
  • Try to enjoy a relaxing bedtime ritual every night before going to sleep, like taking a hot bath or reading a book.
  • Try to wake up to the sun by opening curtains or shades and letting in the sunlight. Or, go outside briefly. The sun helps trigger and reset the biological clock, which is the part of the brain that indicates both sleepiness and when it is time to wake up.
  • Before going to bed, make sure that the room is not too hot or too cold.

Quick Energy Boosters 
 When you need a boost of energy, try these ideas:

  • Eat a snack that includes complex carbohydrates and protein (like an energy bar or half a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread.) Avoid sugar, which will make you crash later. 
  • Get moving—a short walk can be very energizing.
  • As much as your job allows, try to vary your day when fatigue sets in.
  • Have a mini-meditation session at your desk—it can help you calm down and feel more alert.
  • Drink a glass of water—caffeine isn't the only thing that boosts your energy.

Lifestyle Changes 
 To fight fatigue long-term, incorporate these healthy changes into your life:

  • Eat nutritiously. Healthy food and portion sizes will help you stay energized. Don't skip meals or overeat, and always start your day with breakfast.
  • Limit your caffeine to one or two drinks per day. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Exercise regularly. This will increase your energy levels and also help you sleep better at night.
  • Manage your stress to sleep better and feel less drained.
  • Avoid smoking, it lowers your energy level.