If you’re anything like me, you probably have a lot to do in the 24 hours of each day. American culture in 2016 is very busy, and the list of things expected of us may seem endless. We may find ourselves waking up early, rushing around all day, dealing with ‘extra’ things that pop up unexpectedly, taking care of more chores in the evening, and going to bed too late, with a long list of things to do the following day.
Here’s the big catch: If we don’t leave enough time for sleep, it will eventually get the best of us. Sure the first day after too little sleep may be okay, but what about after that becomes a habit?
Do you ever read the same sentence multiple times before the words register? Do you ever stare at a computer screen until your eyes lose focus? Do you ever “zone out” while trying to do something?
Humans need roughly 8 hours of sleep per night. What happens when our daily responsibilities don’t leave us with 8 hours to sleep per night? Humans are simply not capable of being efficient without routinely getting enough quality sleep.
Do you want to get more done during the day? Take care of yourself. Make time for quality sleep. It may be difficult at first, but once you catch up on sleep, you will be amazed at how much you’re able to accomplish. In the meantime, here are some tricks to stay alert during the day, and unwind before bed.
- Take breaks. If you start to lose focus on a task, get up and do something else for a little while. Pick the next thing on your list, and tackle that before going back to the previous task.
- Get moving. Take a short (or long) walk, preferably outside, weather permitting. Attend a yoga class and really stretch out. If you’re able to exercise, do something more vigorous that you enjoy.
- Be social. Call up that friend you have been thinking about lately. Say “yes” when you’re invited to do something fun. Coordinate an outing.
- Pamper yourself. Here’s your big excuse to take a little time for yourself. After all, you can’t take care of anyone or anything else unless your needs are met. It doesn’t have to be much, but it does have to be something. Curl up with a blanket and read a book. Draw up a warm bubble bath and soak. Do something you find relaxing.
- Make time to get the sleep you need to be productive. Sometimes making time saves time in the long run. This is one of those examples.
As always, if you need more support, we’re here to help.