Improve Your Sleep To Increase Your Productivity

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Every now and then, we hear this seemingly humourous but actually misdirected statement from people who work long hours at the office or at home. The truth is, not getting enough sleep has a debilitating effect on our lives. Lack of sleep is known to lead to fatigue, grumpiness and lack of focus. […]

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

Every now and then, we hear this seemingly humourous but actually misdirected statement from people who work long hours at the office or at home. The truth is, not getting enough sleep has a debilitating effect on our lives. Lack of sleep is known to lead to fatigue, grumpiness and lack of focus. But that’s only the beginning. Keep reading for more unsettling facts about sleep deprivation and what you can do to fix your sleeping habit.

The NHS (National Health Society) in the United Kingdom says that sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School warns that one should not be fooled by the short term productivity gains from skipping sleep. Grumpiness, lack of focus and fatigue are the effects that will affect you for days to come. In a previous blog post, Huffington Post co-founder and CEO, Ariana Huffington has said that sleep is essential. See the image below to see the damage that sleep deprivation does to the body:

Source

Why should you sleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, during sleep, your muscles are repaired, the body tissue grows and energy is restored. Also, a study shows that the brain removes toxic materials from your body when you are asleep. These toxins are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. The brain’s cells also shrink so that waste is removed efficiently.

How much sleep should we get each night?
Research states that you need 7-9 hours of sleep every night to function optimally. Most successful people all over the world get this range every night, while there are some who get 5-6 hours (with one person getting a frighteningly-small 3 hours!). This gives the body enough time to perform the necessary bodily functions that will prepare it for the next day’s activities. We wake up with alert, with our energy restored, ready to take on the day. Sleep is also linked to our metabolism: sleep less hours, and your body burns carbohydrates slower, making you fat.

To improve your sleep, the following are recommended:

Stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (including weekends).

Perform your nightly routine (putting your phone on airplane mode, putting out tomorrow’s clothes, brushing your teeth, etc) at least an hour before actually falling asleep.

Keep your sleeping area cool, quiet and dark. Your brain does not shut down when you sleep, making you sensitive to noise. Have the air conditioner on, or leave the windows open (hopefully there is a net to keep mosquitoes out). Turn off all lights and close all curtains – you don’t want to be awakened by the sun. Let your body sleep for as long as it needs to.

– Before you sleep, write down 3 things you are grateful for that day and 3 things you would like to accomplish the next day. When you wake up, your body and mind are ready to accomplish those tasks.

– If you read before you sleep, try reading an actual book, not an e-book. The blue light from an electronic device decreases melatonin production in the brain (melatonin is the hormone that makes us sleep).

What has helped you sleep better? Let us know in the comments.