We live in a time when stress and being on the clock all the time has become the norm. In light of the pandemic, many people are still working from home. Predictably, many of our sleeping patterns have also been disrupted.
If you thought it was difficult to leave the office at a normal time, it definitely didn’t get easier. Now, your home is your office. It’s not uncommon for our productivity to suffer as a result of this way of living and working.
One thing is pulling all the others into a vicious cycle. That one thing is sleep, or more specifically, the lack of it. One study found that workers who slept less had significantly lower productivity, performance, and safety outcomes. The estimated loss due to low productivity was $1,967 per employee.
There are numerous studies showing a link between adequate sleep and increased productivity. We can write about them, but the best evidence that this is true comes from ourselves. Almost all of us have, at some point, sacrificed sleep in order to complete a task. Every time, we felt the consequences in terms of productivity the next day.
So, with that in mind, let’s examine the sleeping habits and routines of super-productive people to discover the secret behind the sleep-and-productivity link.
There’s no need for an alarm clock.
Expect no miracles on this front right away. However, the fact remains that the majority of productive people wake up each morning without an alarm clock. If you need an alarm, you probably didn’t get enough sleep.
For example, Arianna Huffington is a well-known supporter of work-life balance as well as getting enough sleep. On a typical day, she does not set the alarm and wakes up naturally after 8 hours of sleep, which is around 7 a.m.
Actually, the fact that you don’t need to wake up with an alarm clock is a sign that you’re getting enough sleep. You will probably need to change your bedtime routine and go to bed earlier. Or, if you have the luxury, you might just start waking up later.
Quality is as important as quantity.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that most adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly one-third of Americans get less than 6 hours of sleep per night.
If, on the other hand, you sleep 7 to 9 hours but you’re tossing and turning all night and you wake up tired, you are having the same effect as if you slept less than 6 hours.
All of this leads us to the conclusion that you should prioritize not only the number of hours you sleep but also your sleep quality. The best way to tell if you’ve had a good night’s sleep is if you wake up rested.
Amazon titan Jeff Bezos told Thrive Global in 2016 that he prefers to get 8 hours of sleep every night, saying, “Eight hours of sleep makes a big difference for me, and I try hard to make that a priority. That’s the amount I need to feel energized and excited.”
Maintain a consistent bedtime.
It’s critical to have a consistent sleeping cycle.
Irregular sleep causes a sensation equivalent to jet lag, in which your body’s internal clock is disrupted. Going to bed on time every single night enables the body’s internal clock to become much more stable. This results in a more revitalized feeling when you wake up.
Create a sleep-friendly environment.
Keep these suggestions in mind when attempting to create a bedroom environment that promotes sleep:
- Regulate the light. Light will stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to sleep. To keep light out from the bedroom, use dark curtains or a sleeping mask.
- Minimize the noise. Excessive noise can be reduced by using earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. To mask unwanted sounds, you could also use a white noise machine.
- Cool down the space. As you sleep, your body temperature drops. Find a temperature that doesn’t make you feel too cold or too hot when you wake up. Experiment with light blankets or fans to find what’s the best for you.
- Purchase a comfortable mattress. It will be difficult to fall asleep if your mattress is lumpy, too soft, or too hard, so do your research and look for the best mattress that suits your specific needs and sleeping style.
Consider taking a nap during the day.
An hour-long nap can make you smarter by uplifting and rebuilding brainpower, according to a Berkeley study. It can also influence mood, which, according to a study from the University of Michigan, has proven crucial in allowing workers to stay strong through challenging or stressful tasks.
Even basketball superstar Lebron James talked in an interview about taking a nap, especially on game days. And many will agree with him that it’s a very effective way to prepare both mentally and physically for big challenges.
Create a bedtime routine.
Avoid artificial light that comes from electronics such as computers, cell phones, and TVs an hour before bedtime.
These lights can affect the brain and keep you up for long periods. Instead, engage in a relaxing, quiet activity. Listening to soft music, reading, taking a warm bath, or meditating are all great options.
These are just a few of the habits and routines that highly productive people have been known to follow.
But one conclusion we could draw is that everyone is focused on getting a good night’s sleep so they can be brilliant the next day.
Our last piece of advice is to finish your work on time and to make time for yourself, family, and friends. And because you are well-rested and productive, you will be able to complete everything on time.
Find quality sleep, and you will find more balance in your life.