Sleep Your Way to Health and Productivity

SleepTo sleep, perchance to dream. The famous quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet has never held more stock than in today’s hectic world.

The pace of our lives sometimes feels never-ending. All of those predictions about technology reducing our workloads, and making us a civilization of leisure? Well, it hasn’t really worked out that way.

In fact, it’s been the opposite. The faster and more efficiently we can so something these days, only results in more time to do more things, faster, and more efficiently.

The “glorification of busy” has been written about often. And the first thing that takes a hit when we’re all ‘so busy’? Our sleep.

Sleep and Your Health

While adult sleep requirements vary from person to person, one thing that is clear is the connection between sleep and your health. Consistently deprive yourself of a solid night’s sleep, and be prepared to eventually face adverse affects on everything from mood to thinking to pain tolerance to hormones. And you won’t be able to lead a team, much less run a company, if you’re sick from lack of sleep.

We’ve all had those nights where we just can’t seem to fall asleep. Whether from stress or worry, intermittent insomnia happens to the best of us.

This article for The Huffington Post, by Sarah Klein, lays out some natural ways you can try and beat the odd bit of insomnia, without resorting to pharmaceutical sleep aids, over the counter or otherwise.

We chose three simple changes you can make, to help you sleep better:

Break a Sweat

According to a report by the National Sleep Foundation, people who exercise regularly report sleeping better than those who don’t. It doesn’t appear to matter when you do it during the day either. As long as you get moving, and do it on a fairly regular basis.

Cut Out Caffeine Earlier

According to the article, caffeine will still be kicking around in your system at least five hours after you’ve had your last latte. Having a let afternoon coffee break could find you staring at the ceiling instead of sleeping soundly. And tea is no better. Unless you’re drinking the herbal kind, you’re getting a jolt of caffeine in every cup.

Get Out of Bed

Finally, if you just can’t seem to fall asleep, don’t lie there getting more stressed and anxious. Instead, get out of bed, and leave your bedroom. Don’t go online – you might just get wrapped up in work. Instead, read a book, or write a list of what’s been bothering you. Sometimes, the simple act of getting up for 20 minutes is enough to break the cycle of stressing over not sleeping.

What could you add? What do you do when you can’t sleep? 

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