I am not going to talk about how sleep affects your health. You already know that. I am more interested in how adults think being tired and being sleep deprived is a badge of honour. It feels like we are in competition to measure who sleeps less as a sign of success or achievement. Pegging success to the number of hours one sleeps at night is wrong on all levels. Apart from the health complications you are prone to, your productivity level can be grossly affected.
Sleep is as valuable as the quality of work you do and your general productivity level. Making little changes in your life will affect the quality of your sleep which will, in turn, affect the work you do. Parading yourself as tired and boasting about the scanty number of hours you spend sleeping is detrimental to your health. Sleep please, it’s not that serious. If anything at all, the quality of sleep you have should be a priority.
Identify The Problem
Find out why you don’t sleep well. Is it because you sleep late and have to wake up early? Is it because of the nature of your job? Is it because you are used to not sleeping well? Probe till you find the answer. See a doctor if you think you have insomnia or other sleep-related diseases.
Manage Your Time Better
Twenty-four hours is a long time to schedule for a decent sleep. If you have to compromise on the number of hours you sleep, you’re not doing something right. Check if you need to delegate some of your duties to others. Assess what you spend your time on and analyse if you could manage your time better. Cut out all activities which are unnecessary so that you can find time to do the ones that matter. Also, check if you’re committed to so many things.
Clear Away Distractions
Have you ever laid in bed waiting to sleep only to realise you’ve spent over an hour viewing and liking pictures on Instagram? Distractions are everywhere. Create ways to manage them. Identify the distractions which seem to get the best of you while you’re preparing to sleep. If possible, turn off your phone for the few hours you will be in bed or turn off your internet connection.
Have A Bed Time Routine
Your body gets used to how you train it. When your brain understands your bedtime routine, it will act accordingly. Set a routine – take a shower, brush your teeth, change into a nightwear, pray and sleep. Let it become a habit, your brain will adjust and sleep will follow.
Lay Down Your Burdens Before Going To Bed.
Whenever I am angry, afraid or anxious, I barely have a good night sleep. Currently, I lay down those emotions before going to bed. I resolve in my heart to stop thinking about them, sleep and pick the challenges up again the following morning. Although, it’s worked countless times it’s also failed a few times. You should still give it a try, you never know.
There’s nothing wrong with binge-watching an entire season of a TV series on Friday nights. The problem is when you deliberately do not make time to rest. Sleep is essential for mental, physical and emotional growth. Treat it as such.
Also published on Medium.