TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

Say Goodnight to Counting Sheep

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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Sleep is one of life’s simple pleasures. When we’re young, we tend to sleep a lot. There is naptime in grade school and sleeping in until noon in our teens, but once we head off to college, it tends to all go downhill from there. We start pulling all-nighters to study for our exams and even in our twenties we tend to get caught up in activities that always keep us going and never relaxing.

Contrary to popular belief, the amount of sleep we need doesn't decline. Instead, our sleep architecture alters and changes the way we receive that much-needed rest. Regardless of whether you fall asleep on immediate pillow-impact or struggle with getting shut eye, it is important to notice the way sleep affects your work performance and how you can better rest for the days ahead.

HOW DOES SLEEP AFFECT WORK?
Countless studies have shown how sleep impacts your performance at work. For starters, lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in productivity. According to Reuters, researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that the more sleep deprived a person is, the slower their work production becomes.

Not only does sleep affect your work performance, but it also impacts your employer and the economy. Reported by Health.com, 23 percent of employees experience some sort of insomnia at least three times a week. In return, that insomnia costs employers the equivalent of 7.8 days of work in lost productivity each year – ultimately draining more than $63 billion from the nation's economy yearly.

HOW MUCH SLEEP SHOULD YOU BE GETTING?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults (age 24-64) receive seven to nine hours of sleep per night. While this seems manageable, adults tend to struggle with getting a good night’s sleep. Many find that it takes longer for them to fall asleep and experience difficulty in staying asleep. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found more than one third of Americans receive less than 7 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

This decline in sleep can be attributed to many things, but the reality is we just get busier as we get older. Adulthood brings many major changes – from starting a career to starting a family. It can be easy to get wrapped in the day-to-day of working full-time and balancing your personal life. However, making time for sleep is essential to stay alert for all those life moments you strive to be there for.

HOW CAN YOU GET MORE SLEEP?
Getting more sleep means making changes to your routine. It is important to establish a regular sleep schedule and that you follow it even on the weekends. Doing so will help your reset your body’s internal clock (aka your circadian rhythm), making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

With this, we also recommend developing a nighttime ritual – one that does not include technology. The blue light of your phone or computer screen suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm. So instead of staring at the television or your phone while trying to fall asleep, pick up a book instead. In time, it should be easier to avoid technology before bed and be easier for you to fall asleep in return. 

Not getting enough sleep is a common problem many adults have. Instead of falling prey to the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” trend, make the necessary changes to get more rest because sleep is worth it. Once you’ve established a regular routine, you will hopefully notice higher energy levels, better attentiveness and an overall happier outlook on life.

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