If you want to perform better at work or your ambitions are geared toward climbing the corporate ladder then a good night’s sleep will be one of the key secrets to your success. If you’re nodding off during meetings, yawning at your desk or your thoughts are foggy throughout the day then achieving any career prospects will be light years away.
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Instead of conquering the day like a bright-eyed bushy-tailed go-getter, sleep deprivation can turn you into a moody zombie who becomes less tolerant of co-workers and makes you prone to reactionary outburst and other career-destroying behaviours.
When you’re drowsy, your brain is not as creative and won’t process information as quickly or retain important facts as well. Without adequate sleep you will have more difficulty concentrating, learning and communicating. Memory lapses will increase and problem-solving abilities will decline.
Recently, Sealy, the sleep and bedding experts, conducted The Sealy Sleep Census, which surveyed over 11,000 respondents across five countries including 2,300 respondents living in Australia and found that 75 percent of Australians struggle to get to or stay asleep at night.
If landing that big promotion is important and you don’t want to languish in the land of the zombies then it’s important to follow these tips to get good quality shut-eye that will also power boost your career:
1. Have a good bedtime routine
Try to set up a regular routine in the evening to give your body cues that it is time for bed including an hour to wind down and prepare for sleep, try meditating or reading a book
2. Turn off the technology at least an hour before bed
It’s tempting to work late into the evening or even check emails while in bed, however, the blue light in some technology can affect the internal body clock.
A hormone called melatonin helps to prepare the body for sleep. Levels of melatonin rise in the evening before bed, but bright light can affect these rising levels. Technology can throw this off as the light sends the wrong cue to the brain – so, when we are wanting to sleep we are giving our brains a signal that we are awake. It could also be that when we are using technology to interact with others we are more alert and engaged, which could affect our ability to fall asleep quickly.
3. Schedule meetings early
Save your important meetings for when you’re most alert. That way you can avoid having to make very important decisions during the afternoon slump.
4. Stress less
Stress at work can keep you up at night, lowering your productivity during the day and piling on more stress at work. Talk to your manager about your workload and stress levels at work and do what you can to focus on better sleep at home
5. Get at least 7 hours sleep
If you regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep, you’re not working at your best. Basically the less sleep you get, the worse you do
6. Drink caffeinated coffee, tea or soda in moderation
It’s best to have these drinks early in the day, because caffeine can affect sleep 8 to 10 hours after you have it.
7. Pay attention to your environment
Your bedroom plays a critical role in the quality of sleep you enjoy. Specifically pay attention to your mattress, light and room temperature. The mattress is probably the hardest thing to get right, since everyone has different needs.
Depending on whether you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper, stomach sleeper or a mixture, you’ll need a particular type of surface to rest on.
Studies show that people with a lack of sleep take longer to make decisions and make more errors than those with a full night’s sleep. If you’re trying to perform at your best in the workplace, you want to ensure that you’re getting the rest that your body needs. Also keep in mind that stress takes its toll on the body, so if you’re being put through the paces more than normal, it’s likely that you’ll have to improve the quality of your sleep.