4 Tips to Improve Sleep to Become More ProductiveAUTHOR: Noah Rue
Productivity is part of the modern lifestyle. Professionals are always seeking out techniques to increase their output and perfect their efficiency. While productivity methods are helpful in their own way, though, there’s one productivity booster that is as simple and natural as breathing.
Sleeping in a quality setting and in sufficient quantities can have a dramatic effect on your overall productivity, no matter what situation you find yourself in. If you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity, here are a few solid reasons that getting better sleep should be high on the list.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Productivity
It likely comes as no surprise that sleep and productivity are closely connected. After all, the evidence is easy to see. Most people know that when they feel exhausted or even just tired, they slow down. Thoughts become foggy and it can be difficult to maintain your physical energy.
However, to truly gain a healthy perspective on the importance of good sleep, it’s worth taking the time to investigate further. Here is a quick breakdown of how a prolonged lack of quality sleep can impact your body, your mind, and ultimately your productivity.
Sleep Deprivation and Physical Health
When you don’t sleep well, one of the first areas to feel different is your body. This is because your body uses your sleeping time to recharge and heal. When it cannot do that, you can notice the negative side effects in the form of:
- Overeating and weight gain;
- Failed body coordination during high-energy activities;
- Increased likelihood of feeling sick;
- High blood pressure;
- A lower sex drive.
Along with these more obvious symptoms, a lack of sleep can also increase the likelihood of things like a stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Sleep Deprivation and Mental Health
Along with a plethora of physical health concerns, keeping your body in an exhausted, sleep-deprived state can also seriously impact your mental health. This can manifest through things like:
- A lack of concentration;
- Poor social interactions;
- Struggling emotional health;
As if that wasn’t enough, often things like chronic physical pain can feed depression which, in turn, impacts sleep, leading to a nasty physical and mental sleep deprivation cycle.
Sleep Deprivation and Productivity
The physical and mental effects of not getting enough sleep are important all on their own. However, if you’re specifically interested in boosting your productivity, it’s important to consider how these side effects can impact your ability to function at work.
A chronic lack of sleep negatively impacts productivity in several different ways, including:
- Making mistakes while you work;
- Becoming more prone to mood swings and anger;
- Forgetting things more often;
- Burning out over time;
- Suffering from overall poor work performance.
Along with these productivity concerns, if your job is physical in nature, it’s easy to seriously damage your health as you put real-world corporeal demands on your body when it’s in an under-rested state.
Tips to Improve Your Sleep (and Productivity)
Getting perspective and understanding the severity of sleep deprivation is a good first step. However, if you truly want to fix the issue, you must take active steps to resolve your sleep shortcomings.
The good news is, if you can do this, you don’t have to learn any new, trendy productivity methods to see the results. The simple act of being well-rested will naturally boost your efficiency, energy, and by extension, your productivity.
So, without further ado, here are some sweet, simple, and effective tips to help you improve your sleep.
1. Get on a Sleep Schedule
Your body thrives when it is in sync with its circadian rhythm. For most people, this involves things like getting plenty of exercise and sunlight during the daytime and then resting and sleeping in darkness at night.
The “rhythm” part of the deal is also important. If you don’t maintain a consistent pattern with your sleeping and wakeful hours, it can throw your body off and make it difficult to rest. This is why setting up a sleep schedule is important. This typically involves establishing a “window of time,” such as between 10 and 12 at night, during which you try to go to sleep. Pick a similar window of time for the morning, as well, and then do your best to stick to it as often as possible.
2. Count Up the Hours
The average adult should usually get somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, with at least seven hours being the key to success.
If you’re not sure how much sleep you get each night, start keeping track. A sleep journal can make this easy. Simply write down the time you go to bed, when you wake up, how well you slept, if you woke up during the night, and any other notations worth tracking. Over time, you’ll get an idea of how much sleep you’re getting.
3. Avoid Disruptions to Your Sleep
There are many things that can disrupt your sleep, especially if you do them in the hour or two before you douse the lights. These include:
- Eating big meals;
- Using blue light screens;
- Consuming coffee, alcohol, nicotine, and other body- and mind-altering substances;
Try to avoid these at all costs before you turn in for the night.
4. Set Up a Dedicated Sleeping Space
Finally, make sure that your sleeping space is set up for optimal, high-quality sleep. You can do this by:
- Using a diffuser for aromatherapy.
- Keeping the room dark with curtains and blinds while you sleep.
- Only using your bedroom (or at least your bed) for sleeping.
- Sleeping on a comfortable mattress and pillow.
Along with these basics, also strive to keep your sleeping space neat and clean. A tidy environment helps to reduce the stressfulness that clutter can have on your mental state.
On top of ensuring you have a dedicating sleeping space, it’s helpful to curate a dedicated working space, as well, so you don’t feel tempted to work where you sleep. While your bed inspires rest and comfort, the working space should inspire productivity and creativity through the way it’s set up and the furniture you include.
Boosting Productivity with Sleep
There is no end to the number of clever ways that you can boost your productivity. However, none of them are quite as effective as the sweet and simple solution of sleep.
Ensuring that you are getting plenty of high-quality sleep may take time and effort, but the resulting improvement in your productivity will make the entire experience a win-win for your body, mind, and career.