Sleep. Easily overlooked yet a fundamental factor of your overall success. For most, we’re pretty confident you’ll be guilty of just not getting enough.
Although the requirement varies from person to person we all need a solid and consistent foundation of sleep to allow us to perform and recover effectively. The quality of sleep itself does infact matter and the better the quality, the more energy which consequently means better results.
Sleep deprivation does directly affect cognition which in turn questions problem solving, retention of information and decision making can infact become impaired. Another common problem we see is the food selections which follow. Chances are if you’re feeling tired, sluggish and lacking in energy you’ll opt for the more-convenient, less wholesome food choices which is usually of the less nutritious and higher-calorie variety.
So how do we fix it?
Caffeine intake before bed: Caffeine acts as a stimulant so set yourself a cut off. Maybe make the last one 3:00pm after you’ve hit the afternoon lull. Be mindful that caffeine doesn’t just come in the form of coffee. Fizzy drinks, tea, they’re all included too.
Have some wind down time: A dark, cool and quiet environment is going to help you switch off that bit easier. Skip the TV, turn off the works laptop and take 5 minutes of downtime before you actually go to sleep. It’s going to be sure to improve the quality of the sleep that you are getting.
Turn off the phone: Set yourself a reminder to turn off your phone an hour before you go to bed. Turn off your notifications, step away from social media and buy yourself an alarm clock (they still exist!)
Take a book to bed: Take your mind away from the stresses of the day, put your concentrations elsewhere and take a moment to unwind.
Offload your thoughts: Jot down any last minute thoughts or uncompleted tasks. Write them down, put them to bed and tackle them when tomorrow comes.
Set yourself a regular bedtime: Give your body some structure it’ll thank you for it. Chances are if it knows what’s coming it’s going to become more efficient and you’ll not only be able to sleep better but waking up in the morning should be a less difficult task too.
Remember, quality sleep equals more energy which in turns means better results.