The Ultimate Secret To Success At Work? Good Sleep.

It’s the last thing you think about at night. The first thing when you wake up. It has an impact on you all day long.

A good night’s sleep.

Research by the Sleep Health Foundation found that 4 in 10 of Australian adults experience some form of inadequate sleep. The total estimated cost of this was $66.3bn last year.

In fact, not sleeping for 17-19 hours – that’s 5 to 7 hours sleep – can have the same effect on performance as having 0.05% Blood Alcohol Content. As you should know, that’s Australia’s drink driving limit.

Bad sleep correlates with a whole host of health problems. Memory loss, heart disease, weight gain. Sleep is key to your wellbeing, your life expectancy, and your day-to-day life.

CEOs love sleep

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has been touting the importance of his 8 hours a night for nearly 20 years. Nine years prior to that, Bill Gates identified his sweet spot at 7 hours.

The importance of routine and sleep for CEOs is nothing new. But in 2010 Arianna Huffington, founder & former Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post, launched the Sleep Revolution.

That, and the growing self-care industry, has launched sleep wellness directly into the mainstream.

We finally seem to appreciate that our bodies are more than vehicles to move around in. They’re our homes – and they deserve care and attention. What we put in – be it sleep, healthy food, or exercise – we reap the benefits of.

But it can be hard to sleep when you’re stressed – and stressing about getting enough sleep can be enough to block you from working productively. So how can you better use your precious to sleeping time?

Sleep well

First things first, turn off your devices. Or at least put on Night Shift, Night Light, Night Mode, or any other red light filters. The blue light that lights up mobile phone and laptop screens is known to keep your mind active, and disrupt your natural sleep rhythm.

With your devices off, you want to start a bedtime routine. Just as you have a method of getting up in the morning that has you ready to start the day, you should wind down with the same care. It’s personal to you, but incorporating skincare, doing your teeth, putting away today’s clothes and planning tomorrow’s are all things you can fashion into a routine.

If you find you struggle to sleep as your brain is still active, you may want to try some meditation. Meditating is known to reduce stress, and the practice of meditation can help you deal with intrusive or anxious thoughts. The Headspace app is a good place to start for beginners.

Sometimes, even the best laid sleep plans don’t work out. In that case, you’ll want to have a nap. The optimum nap length is 20 minutes. That’s enough to refresh you, and sharpen your attention. Anything between 20 and 90 minutes is likely to leave you groggy, as it is disrupting your body mid-REM cycle. The most replenishing naps are an hour and a half – but that’s not so realistic in the workday.

However you find helps you wind down, here’s to a good night’s sleep.

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