Motivation Monday: Get Your ZZZ’s
The phrase “if you snooze you lose” is… wrong. In fact, it is a common misconception that you will get more done in the day if you are awake more hours. Wouldn’t it be better if you could get the same amount of work done in less time? Fortunately, you can… if you just force yourself to go to sleep!
When you get the recommended amount of sleep (which is 8 hours, give or take one hour), your judgement improves, your thinking is more positive, and your creativity is heightened. A fully rested brain is a sharp brain. You will find that it is easier to focus, your reaction times are quicker, and everything you do is just a little easier. When you don’t sleep well (that is, you are clocking in 7 hours or less a night), you’re functioning at the same level as someone who is legally drunk (see this article for more). Plus, you are more susceptible to illness, as well as chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and weight gain. A tired brain craves sugar and fatty foods – anything that will give it a rush of energy – and because your willpower is impaired, you have a harder time resisting them. Unfortunately, those foods are only temporary fixes and cause you to crash even harder after eating them.
The more you skimp on sleep, the more you can expect your performance to decline. To optimize your chances of getting the recommended amount of shut eye, try incorporating some of the tips below:
- Exercise in the morning or afternoon, but not too late as this interferes with sleep
- Avoid using electronics at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted from these devices causes your brain to remain in awake mode
- Avoid caffeine after 2:00pm
- Avoid watching TV or working in bed
- Keep the room temperature cool