November 05, 2019
Whether you were up all night with sick kids, out late drinking with buddies, or worrying about all the tasks you need to accomplish the next day, almost everyone has had to endure a work day with little to no sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, adults over 18 should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and about one third of U.S. adults are considered sleep deficient (getting less than the recommended amount).
Poor sleep can contribute to obesity, diabetes, stroke, poor mental health, heart disease and a number of sleep disorders including: sleep apnea (where you actually stop breathing in your sleep), restless-leg syndrome, insomnia and daytime fatigue (duh!). Sleep deficiency actually impairs your driving ability more than drinking. You get the picture, right? So, in the interest of being healthier, more productive, and not crashing our cars, let’s all agree to put down our phones, lay off the afternoon vanilla lattes, and catch some seriously needed shuteye.
Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep:
- Use apps to track your sleep and diagnose the quality of sleep you’re getting. Your Fitbit, Jawbone and iWatch already come with these functions available. If you don’t have a wearable device, download one of the following recommended free apps to track sleep: Awoken, Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock and Sleep Cycle Power Nap, Relax Melodies and White Noise.
- Plan for your sleep: make sure you have enough time to get ready and unwind. If you say you want to get to bed at 10 p.m., plan to be asleep by 10 p.m. Don’t waltz into your room at 9:50 p.m. and start getting ready. We’ve all been there– It’ll be 11:00 p.m. before you know it.
- No screen time an hour before bed. The blue light messes with your natural sleep rhythm, and those Buzzfeed quizzes you’re taking will stimulate your brain when the goal is to shut it off. Don’t worry, you can learn which leading actor should play you in a movie based on your zodiac sign in the morning.
- Avoid eating large meals or consuming alcohol 1-2 hours before bed. Consider substituting that extra glass of wine or your night cap for a cup of herbal tea. You might be surprised how well you actually sleep.
- Skip the afternoon pick-me-up. Drinking caffeine within 8 hours of bedtime can hinder your quality of sleep. Down a bottle of water instead– staying hydrated will keep your energy level up. If afternoon coffee is your thing? Try decaf, half caff or even tea.
- Keep your room cool, dark and quiet.
Don’t just be accounted for in the office, be present. It’s time to get those creative juices fIowing and get out of that funk. Access your problem-solving skills, remain sharp and increase your productivity. On a good night’s sleep, you simply just feel better.