Believe it or not, sleep has a big impact on your productivity in the workplace. Studies show that one in four American adults struggle with insomnia at least 3 times per month. Because these insomniac workers show up at work tired and functioning at a low capacity, they are costing their employers an estimated $67 billion a year in lost productivity.
When you’re sleep deprived, your brain has an especially hard time ignoring distractions and controlling impulses. Sleep recharges your brain so you wake up ready to face the challenges of the day.
Arianna Huffington editor of The Huffington Post shares a story on TED about how she was so sleep deprived that she fainted from exhaustion, broke her cheekbone and had to have several stitches in her face. Sadly it took an incident like that for her to realize the importance of sleep. She now preaches the restorative power of sleep and believes that we can all sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness.
Here are some things you can do to improve your sleep habits:
- Discuss your sleep issues with your doctor to make sure that there is no underlying medical condition causing your sleep problems.
- Change your bedtime in increments. So, instead of going from a 1am bedtime to a 10pm bedtime. Try going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier until you’ve worked your way to your bedtime goal.
- Set a bedtime alarm go off an hour before bedtime. If you tend to get caught up watching TV or on the computer, place the alarm clock in another room so you will be forced to get up to turn it off.
- Establish a wind down routine that slows your brain down in preparation for sleep. Choose a quiet relaxing activity like taking a warm bath, reading, listening to music, or meditation.
- Post reminders of the importance of sleep in your life.