You might have read a multitude of articles and books on productivity in the workplace, but how much thought have you put into the amount of quality sleep you get each night? There are plenty of different ways to increase your productivity, for sure, but one of the best you might not have considered seriously is your nightly rest.
Achieving decent sleep on a regular basis has a huge number of benefits for both your mind and body. Apart from the many physical benefits, including decreasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, weight gain, and more, getting enough proper sleep each night can also make a big difference to your ability to work efficiently and effectively on the job.
If you want to up your output in the workplace, you’ll need to increase the number of hours of quality sleep you get consistently. This might seem a bit tricky if you struggle with insomnia or other sleep issues, but there are ways to help ensure you get the rest you need.
From sleeping in a comfortable bed that suits your body, to avoiding caffeine, gadgets, and TV screens at night, and developing a schedule for rest, a good sleep can be achieved if you plan ahead and make wide choices. Read on for top tips to help you wake up feeling refreshed and recharged on a daily basis.
Choose Your Bed Carefully
An important element in getting proper sleep is having a comfortable bed. Considering that we spend around a third of our lives sleeping, having a decent mattress that supports our bodies and allows us to rest comfortably needs to be a top priority.
Old mattresses, or those that are too firm or too soft for our bodies, can lead to lower-back issues, cricks in the neck, and more — all of which affect sleeping patterns and the chance of getting enough quality hours of sleep each night.
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As well, many people don’t realize that they’re allergic to their mattress (or rather, not the mattress itself, but the dust mites that reside in it). The tiny creatures can be particularly problematic for people with asthma, and can build up over time in old or neglected mattresses.
Steer Clear of Caffeine and Food Late in the Day
Another way to help yourself get some quality sleep is by avoiding caffeine late in the day, and food too close to your bedtime. Caffeine, for instance, is a stimulant that will amp up your system when you really want to relax instead.
It’s best to avoid drinking coffee (or hot chocolate or caffeinated tea) for at least four to six hours before your bedtime.
Similarly, you should also try to finish eating your dinner well before you plan on going to bed, particularly large and heavy meals. This is due to the fact that if the body is still trying to digest food when you turn in for the night, you’ll likely be kept awake by the energy spent on digestion.
Develop Set Sleeping Hours
It also pays to create a sleep routine that you can follow each day. If you put a set schedule in place that covers the time that you go to bed each night, as well as the time you get up in the morning, you will quickly be able to improve the quality of your sleep.
By choosing to go to bed and to rise at roughly the same time each day, you will help your biological clock to stay steady. This consistency will then, in turn, aid you to sleep more deeply and to wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
Remember, set sleeping hours should be adhered to over weekends as well as during the week so that you don’t have to start the routine all over again come Monday.
Unwind Before You Try to Sleep
Many people compromise their sleep without even realizing that they’re doing it.
What is the culprit you wonder?
It’s technology — gadgets such as smartphones, TVs, laptops, and tablets. You might not think that they’re that bright, but actually the light that is emitted from these devices sends a trigger to the brain that the mind and body need to stay awake and alert.
To combat this issue, make sure you leave yourself some time to unwind before bed, away from any screens. Prior to going to sleep, instead spend some time on other activities such as focusing on your breathing, have a relaxing bath, or chatting with a loved one.
Sleeping Well Photo via Shutterstock