Getting enough sleep every day is a struggle but it doesn't have to be. We take a look at how changing simple habits can help you get enough sleep, every night.
Not enough people get enough sleep. Lack of sleep is a health crisis. Public health organizations like the CDC go as far as to say lack of sleep is an epidemic. While it is true that everyone has different sleep needs, most experts agree that 8 hours of sleep is the ideal amount of sleep for best health. The one thing that experts unanimously agree is that sleep is important for well being and mental health. The benefits of sleep are wide ranging from improved memory and concentration, to increased productivity, to less risk for chronic illnesses and diseases, a stronger immune system, to even a lower waistline. Clearly, good sleep is something that we can all benefit from. We take a look at how changing simple habits can help you get enough sleep.
Make a to-do list every morning
Staying up late to do work can cut into sleep time. Be more productive during the day so that you don't have to cut into your sleep time. Make a to-do list as you start your day. Not only will it help you plan and organize your day so that you can get more done but it will also create the right mind-set that will help you do more and get more done.
It's a good feeling when your boss tells you how much of a great worker you are for signing up for extra shifts and overtime, but doing this too often can put a dent in your sleep time and that can be detrimental to your health. It's okay to say yes but if you must say no, make sure to be polite and be firm. A firm “no” should do the trick.
For most of us, there are only 8 hours in a workday and if you count breaks and lunch and meetings and phone calls and emailing, that's not a whole lot of time. Prioritize tasks by what is most important. What is most important, should always come first and more time should go to that. Prioritize your time accordingly.
Wake up and go to bed at the same time
Have a sleep schedule and stick to it. If you go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time you will get adequate enough sleep. Schedules don't have to feel like a bad thing. Fit something you enjoy into your sleep schedule. Do something that you enjoy as you wake up so that you will look forward to waking up every morning. Do something that you enjoy as you go to bed so that you look forward to sleep at night.
Getting more done during the day will prevent you from taking your work home with you. Get creative. Time yourself. Use a smartphone app to deliver reminders to keep you on track. Some people find listening to music at work can help them get more done.
Turn your devices off after work. If you make it a rule, you are less likely to break it. Put your phone on silent or do not disturb. Avoid checking emails after a certain time. It is common courtesy to reply back to emails but don't feel like you have to reply to every email, right away. A good workaround is to create an automated message to let the sender know that you have received their email and you will answer when you are able to.
Outsource or enlist the help of a friend or colleague
It's okay to get help from time to time. Getting help can be as simple as approaching your manager or boss for an extension on a deliverable. Get the opinion of a colleague if you are stuck on a problem. If you have the ability to hire paid help and outsource some of your job duties, by all means, whatever helps you to get more sleep.
Do your best work, not your most perfect work
Your best work is good enough. You are only one person and can not do every job perfectly. You know where your strengths lie. Do what you are good at. It's okay to have big goals but be realistic in your expectations and be less hard on yourself. Learn to compromise.