Dear Career Goddess:
We know that you are working hard trying to create career success and a lifestyle you love. You’re amazing! We’re cheering you on in everything you do.
But how do your career and lifestyle decisions impact your sleep patterns? Does sleep affect productivity and your performance?
For ages it has been believed that it does and most of us also agree to this universally accepted notion.
But with the fast paced lifestyle and the insane race to catch up and touch upon everything that a day has to offer, it is time to rethink on this idea.
Let’s give it a more practical attire that fits more realistically in an urban man’s lifestyle.
So here comes the reality check…
You have no fixed sleep hours. Some days it is five and some days you may be lucky to grab in another brownie hour and make it six.
Going to bed is guided by your body’s demand or submission to fatigue rather than the daily healthy regime of relaxation.
Very strangely, we push our bodies to sit up one extra hour either at the pub, at the theatre, on the couch or simply up in front of our laptops, but not in bed where it should rather be.
So, the bottom line is that we spend more hours wide awake and less hours in sleep.
Of course, it may sound impractical to do so every day. But the truth is that we have tuned our bodies to actually adjust to our revamped lifestyles where less sleep and more work is the order of the day.
With this acceptance of the revised sleep schedule where we catch a wink less and blink the eye more, it is important to assist our bodies in performing to the optimum even with less recharging daily.
Here we give you insights into some easy and everyday hacks which teach you how to perform your best even with less sleep.
1. Discover your Sleep Schedule
Sleeping less is not an offense but waking up in between a sleep cycle indeed is.
Our body is subject to different phases or sleep cycles every night. If you wake up at the end of a complete cycle, chances are that you feel less exhausted or worn out during the day as compared to someone who disrupts his sleep cycle in the middle.
So, discover your sleep cycles with a little consciousness and tune your body to fall in the rhythm.
2. Face the Sun
Instantly recharge your nerves and senses by facing the morning Sun for a few minutes at the start of the day.
The Sun helps to take away your lousiness and instantly brightens up your senses, preparing you for the day ahead. It also acts as a stimulus for your brain to comprehend the onset of the day and all the activities that need to be taken up.
3. Keep Away From the Coffee Mug
While the first cup of coffee in the day may leave you fresh, the subsequent ones can dehydrate your body and add to your fatigue.
Cut down on the intake of caffeine and substitute it with other healthy drinks and juices that add value to your well being.
4. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Often by mid day one starts feeling lost, exhausted or dreamy.
While some may hold the extra work pressure responsible for that, the truth is that our brain starts losing out on its focus.
One good way to regain that lost focus is to hydrate your body with enough healthy fluids or simply water that helps to replenish the tissues and increase the flow of oxygen to our brain.
Another good idea is to start your day with two glasses of water. This will instantly kick your limping senses and puts them to work.
Try this for a couple of days and you will soon feel the morning thirst as soon as you step out of bed.
5. Snack Light at Regular Intervals
Depriving your body of some quality sleep should be compensated with good and healthy snacking at regular intervals, maybe after every two hours or so.
Go in for light yogurt, fruits, nuts or a granola bar. This gives you a decent feeling of fullness and holds you back from gorging at the lunch table or at dinner time.
Small meals are also easy for your body to digest and gives you a sense of lightness packed with energy.
On the contrary, heavy meals leave you bloating and belching invariably pulling you down your chair and making you look sleepy or tired.
6. Move and Stretch
Taking a few small steps in the morning helps you take giant leaps during the day.
Yes, brisk walking, jogging, stretching or a little exercise can do wonders to your physical well being. They not only stretch your muscles and tissues, but also activates the mind, freshens your mood and prepares you for the day with a brighter zeal.
You feel lively, full of energy and ready to take on the world.
7. Stop, Stand and Shut Down
While racing through your work, it is good once in a while to pause, halt and take a break.
If you spend long hours in front of the computer screen, it is a good idea to take your eyes off the monitor at regular intervals and stare at something green-and of course we mean the plant on your desk or in the office corridors and not the emerald necklace of the new secretary in office!
You can also stand and take a short round on the office floor or simply visit the restroom for a stroll. If that seems too much, or you fear disturbing your colleagues, simply pull your chair back and stretch your arms front and back, signaling your brain to prepare for the relay ahead.
This helps to regulate the blood circulation to your body and signals positivity to your brain- a lot accomplished but more ahead.
8. Take a Power Nap
The pause in a melody makes it more sweeter. Similarly, once in a while during the day, reset your biological clock by taking a quick power nap. Go and rest on the couch for a few minutes if your office policy allows that or gently put your head down and drench yourself in quietness for a few minutes of serenity. When you wake up, you will not only feel refreshed but also more focused and lively.
9. Take a Hot-Cold Shower
Research says that a hot shower induces sleep, but a combination of hot-cold-hot shower accentuates your senses and helps you prepare for the day ahead.
After you finish cleaning yourself, open the shower for some cold water and then instantly go back to the hot shower. This stimulating combination of hot-cold-hot drives away all laziness and brightens up your day with freshness and new found alertness.
10. Tune in to Music
Carry an i-pod loaded with your favorite songs or tune in to the radio while driving to work.
Soothing and soft music can have a phenomenal effect on your energy levels and instantly helps to drag you out when you are sagging. It reduces tension, soothes the nerves and has a calming effect on your mind and its muscles. It has a therapeutic impact on a worn out mind and body or one that is sleep deprived.
11. Enjoy a Laugh
No matter how crazy this may sound at the work table, take out a few moments from your busy schedule to entertain your bogged down mind and enjoy a good laughter.
Try sharing a joke with your co-workers or simply surf your mobile for a funny video, meme or share on a social networking site.
Remember, to use your headphones when you do so, lest you disturb those around you.
Try it once in a while and see what effect laughter can have on your sagging mind and body. It gives you a mood kick and instantly brightens up your moment. It also allows you to forget your stresses and reduces anxiety.
Sleep deprivation is indeed not appreciated as a matter of prudence but compensating its effects with more productive and healthy habits so as to keep up your performance is indeed commendable.
The incredible hacks shared here not only make up for your lost sleep but eventually make you a winner through the day; you’ll be able to perform brilliantly without sagging or giving up on fatigue.
So, the next time you miss out on your sound sleep of 8 hours, remember the power of “Less is More” and make up for the lost hours of sleep by trying some or all of the hacks discussed here.
Conquer your sleep before it conquers you. Rediscover your sleep patterns and mold them as per your requirements.
Use the flexibility of sleep patterns to your advantage and feel fresh and a winner even with little sleep under your belt….oops under your pillow!
About the Author
My name is Ashley Hayes and I am the editor in chief at SleepHeavn. It has been almost a decade since, I was first diagnosed with Insomnia. But believe me since then I have absorbed myself in this intriguing world of sleep. Over the years, I have researched about sleep, talked to experts, read hundreds of journals and talked to family and friends to collect their experiences about sleep, sleep products and all that affects sleep.