Many of us wake from a night’s sleep wishing for another 5 minutes. If this sounds like you, you’re in good company. According to a recent Gallup study, nearly half of Americans don’t get the recommended 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Although a lack of sleep may be your new normal, it is seriously hampering your effectiveness. Do you ever wonder why you anxiously stress over something at 1:00 AM, yet after a few hours of sleep the issue seems less daunting in the light of day? That’s because our brains enhance feelings of fear and anxiety when we’re sleepy. When we arrive at work sleep deprived, one study cites that we’re no more effective than if we arrived to work legally drunk (which obviously, I do not recommend).
So what do you do? You can’t just call out sick due to a serious case of pillow lust. You can however, set yourself up to flourish tomorrow by leveraging some simple strategies tonight. You have a specific time that you need to be up, so the only answer is to get to bed earlier. If you’re like me, you dread going to bed earlier because there is almost ALWA?YS some twitter feed that is screaming your name at 11 PM. To counteract the joy of social media, substitute it with some bedtime rituals that give you the joy of relaxation. Here are a few ideas, feel free to select the one(s) that are right for you.
In the words of the late great Bob Marley, turn the lights down low and….
Write a handwritten note that makes you happy. One of the most effective ways to boost happiness is to express gratitude. Write a thank you note to someone or list out the events of the day that you’re thankful for in a journal.
Meditate. This is my personal favorite. Spend 10-15 minutes in a peaceful, mindful state connecting with yourself and the positive aspects of your life that you are thankful for and optimistic about. It almost always results in me meditating myself to sleep.
Chill out. You’re more likely to fall asleep n cooler temperatures. Not to mention, who doesn’t get excited about jumping underneath a fluffy down comforter when the temp is turned down low? The National Sleep Foundation recommends a temperature between 60-67 degrees for optimal sleep.
Avoid blue light. Blue light is the type of light radiating from smartphones and computer screens. The light suppresses melatonin, a hormone which makes you feel sleepy. Studies show that riding yourself from blue light improves sleep quality.
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Adwoa Dadzie is a Director of Human Resources and Corporate Career Strategist. The views expressed in this post are Adwoa’s and do not reflect the views of her employer. Follow her on Twitter @adwoadadzie3, Instagram @adwoadadzie, Periscope @adwoadadzie3, or visit her at adwoadadzie.com.