How more shut-eye can help you get ahead

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Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to serious medical conditions including high blood pressure, obesityhigher risk of stroke, psychiatric problems, bone damage and even heart problems. But it’s not just your health that can suffer – it also affects your productivity, creativity and decision making.

Here’s how sacrificing a good night’s sleep can set you back in the workplace:

Sleep deprivation can:

  • Lead to decreased alertness and excessive sleepiness which, in turn, weakens your mental abilities and memory. This means you probably won’t remember that long To Do list at work, or what your boss is looking for in your next assignment.

  • Make you more emotional, moodier or prone to conflicts, threatening not just your personal relationships but also your professional ones. 

  • Reduce focus and performance. Losing just 90 minutes of sleep one night can reduce your alertness by more than 30%. This means it will be hard to pay attention in meetings or with clients and customers at work.

How to make sure you sleep for success

Bedtimes are not just for kids

Set yourself a bedtime and stick to it.  Make sure you have time to unwind and relax before bed.  Take a bath or shower, read a book, listen to music or do some relaxation exercises to get you ready for bed. Peaceful activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.

 

Get 7 to 8 hours every night

Getting enough sleep should not be something you compromise on.  Most adults need 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. It’s not true that you can simply catch-up on your shut-eye tomorrow night; just one night of sleep deprivation can have a lasting effect on your body.

 

Switch off the screens

Don’t spend time on your tablet, laptop of phone before bed.  The light suppresses the production of melatonin, a vital hormone that serves as your body’s most powerful antioxidant. As a result, your body is less able to clean out the free radicals and other toxins that are harmful to your cells. These devices also stimulate the mind, rather than relaxing it meaning that you’ll take far longer to make the transition from alert to drowsy to sleepy to, finally, snoring.

Say no to too much to eat or drink before bedtime

Try to limit your liquid intake from about 2 hours before bed and be sure to stay away from greasy foods and big meals that could lead to indigestion and heartburn.