Do you find yourself feeling sluggish in the morning? Perhaps you have noticed that you are simply not getting enough from your days? Sleep affects your productivity levels more than your diet, exercise levels, blood pressure levels or even relationship woes with friends, spouses, family or colleagues (albeit all of these factors can affect how we sleep).
Help is at hand, you no longer need to envy your co-worker, friend or family member’s ability to conquer so many tasks on any given day. We have put together a list of the 5 sleeping habits which will enable you to pack a powerful punch into your day and enhance productivity.
- Productive People Stick to a Regular Bedtime
Inconsistent sleep affects your body’s circadian rhythm which is why you may feel sluggish in the morning. This is why it’s important to stick to a regular bedtime routine, it regulates your body’s circadian rhythm ensuring that your body stays in sync and you wake up feeling revitalized. If you are clocking up sufficient sleep but going to bed at different times over the course of the week, your body clock will be out of sync, so keep your bed and waking times consistently every day to feel more energized and refreshed. Unfortunately, this rule of thumb also applies to weekends.
- Get a Good Quality Sleep
Experts recommend getting a solid 7 hours plus of sleep per night, the quality rather than quantity is even more important. The restorative properties of a deep slumber can affect a sharp mental state and promote high energy levels. Tossing and turning throughout the night certainly won’t help you achieve a superior mental state the next day, so set yourself a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure the room is clutter-free and does not have reminders of work, turn off artificial light sources to encourage melatonin production and sleep in total darkness if possible.
- Ditch The Alarm Clock
Ideally, if we are getting enough sleep, our bodies should awaken naturally at a set time. Once you have established a regular sleep and wake routine, there should be no need for an alarm. If you are not waking naturally at the right time, try going to bed earlier. Of course, you may want the security of an alarm clock to avoid the possibility of sleeping through, if so position it in another room and slightly later than your normal waking time so that you don’t end up relying on it. Read our previous blog post on ways that you can make waking up easier for more information.
- Feel Free to Take a Nap
If you are getting optimal quality sleep, napping should not be a necessity. If you’ve missed out on good quality sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help improve mood, alertness and performance. Just make sure you take your nap in the early afternoon to avoid disrupting your sleep routine. If you experience insomnia, it’s best to keep naps very short or eliminate them altogether.
- Avoid Caffeine & Alcohol after 6 pm
Consuming caffeine and/or alcohol disrupts your body’s ability to experience REM sleep that is vital to consolidating memory and learning. Caffeine is a drug that acts as a mental and physical stimulant, therefore, you should limit intake to 200mg caffeine per day and avoid consumption after 6 pm. It can take up to 6 hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off.
While alcohol induces drowsiness and helps you nod off to sleep initially, the second half of your sleep cycle is disrupted with more frequent wakening and a lighter sleep which inhibits the necessary REM restorative process for memory and learning. Therefore it is recommended to avoid alcohol consumption at least 4 hours before going to sleep.
We hope this article has you bouncing out of bed with boundless energy and helps you to become more productive. For more advice and tips on healthy sleeping habits visit our Facebook page or browse our previous posts.