If you read the hashtags on any social media network, you are certain to come across at least one card-carrying member of the hardworking, uber-ambitious, millennial-created super group, #TeamNoSleep. Members of this group subscribe to the notion that grinding day and night is the key to rising above their peers, beating out the competition and accomplishing their dreams.
However, #TeamNoSleep, is NOT the winning team. In fact, a 2018 study by drowsydriving.org found that sleep deprivation is associated with several negative side effects. The study concluded that sleeping less than 6 hours a night is equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, which is legally drunk! According to cdc.gov, 34.8% of Americans get 6 or fewer hours of sleep per night. On the other hand, the benefits of getting more sleep at night include increased performance and productivity at work.
The popularity of best-selling books like Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change and Valerie Burton’s Successful WomenThink Differently shows that we find value in studying common traits of successful people. If the goal is to mimic highly successful individual’s habits to increase the likelihood of our own success….go to sleep! For real. Ask former president Barack Obama, tv host Ellen DeGeneres or founder & CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos, all of whom average at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
Ready to get some sleep and make your dreams happen? Follow these 3 tips to help you sleep like a boss:
Create a Nightly Routine
You should try to go to bed at or around the same time every night. About an hour before your bedtime, begin winding down. Your wind down activities can include reading a book, meditating or a taking a warm bath. As most of us are frequent travelers, you should also plan for wind down activities while on vacation. Consistency is important. Equally as important as your nighttime routine, you should try to wake up around the same time each morning, even on the weekends! To help motivate you to rise early on the weekends, try attending an early morning yoga or fitness class. Resist the urge to hit snooze as sleeping in will throw off your sleep schedule.
Write Your Worries Away
Competing deadlines, social media-induced FOMO (fear of missing out) and student loan debt, among other things, lead to stress. When you are stressed, it can become difficult to fall asleep. If you lack sleep, you will likely become unproductive and less focused at work…which causes more stress. Regular journaling helps get rid of negative thoughts, aids in problem-solving and can reduce anxiety and depression. Bedtime journaling not only helps increase sleep time but improves the quality of sleep. Stuck on what to write about? You can purchase journals with writing prompts or search Pinterest to help get started.
Curate Your Sleep Space
Your room should be comfortable and inviting for sleep. First, ensure that your room is at a comfortable temperature. The optimal room temperature is between 60-67 degrees. Make sure that your room is free from excessive light and distracting noise like a television. However, white noise, like a humidifier or fan, can actually help you sleep better. Declutter your space. Change your sheets regularly. Invest in a good mattress. Curate a sleeping space that allows you to decompress and make the most of the time that you have to sleep.
So, it seems that at least one of the keys to success is to #GetSomeRest!