Do you often leave the office feeling exhausted, zapped of energy, or as if the working day has taken your ‘best hours’? We’ve all been there, but did you know that there are some easy ways to increase your productivity, resilience and energy levels? Best of all, you can do it all whilst you’re sleeping.
Recently, I attended a great session by Chelsea Pottenger, Director EQ Consulting Co, on the sleep hacks that can make positive impacts on our lives. I was surprised to hear that an estimated $18 Billion is lost annually in productivity in the workplace due to sleep deprivation. Research also shows that 4 in 10 Aussies get insufficient sleep either every or several nights per week.
But how much is enough?
It’s not uncommon to get 8 or 9 hours sleep one night only to still feel tired the next day, which can be pretty frustrating! Whilst the amount of hours you spend asleep is important, it’s the quality of sleep that actually makes a bigger impact. Chelsea highlighted a few key sleep hacks that we can all start using to make sure we are getting the most out of our ‘zzz’s’ each night:
Viewing screens increases our alertness and disrupts our melatonin production. In other words, the light produced by the screen, be it a TV, computer, iPad or phone, tricks our bodies into thinking the sun is up and it’s time to get up – definitely not ideal for when you want to get some shut-eye. To combat this, try switching off screens at least 30 mins before hitting the hay.
That afternoon coffee you’re having to power your way through the last of the days' to-do list could be the thing that is impacting your sleep most of all. Whilst you may not necessarily feel the effects of an afternoon coffee and fall asleep easily, it can still affect the quality of your sleep. So, advice suggests it’s best to avoid caffeine altogether in the afternoon and keep your caffeine buzz to the morning.
It’s not uncommon to have a couple of glasses of wine to unwind at the end of a long day. However as it turns out, any more than that could be having a big impact on our sleep. Chelsea suggests keeping wine consumption to less than two glasses an evening to give ourselves the best chance of getting that quality sleep we so need.
Ever wondered why you might find it easier to fall asleep in a room that’s too cold rather than too hot? Well, your body needs to drop its core temperature to initiate sleep, and also to enable us to stay asleep; it might well be time to embrace a little more skin under the sheets.
So, why not give these sleep hacks a go and start reaping the benefits of higher energy, productivity and creativity levels in your waking hours.
If like me, you find learning about sleep and its impact on human physiology fascinating, then I recommend watching Matt Walkers Ted Talk, ‘Sleep is your superpower’. Just don’t forget to power down that screen plenty of time before your head hits the pillow.
Chelsea also offers a fantastic sleep program to help people sleep deeply and achieve their goals.