Written for EO by Laurie Larson.
Good sleep and productivity go hand in hand.
Getting high-quality, restorative sleep each night is incredibly important to your overall health. If you’re regularly missing out on good sleep each night, you’re at risk of experiencing sleep deprivation and all the negative side effects that come along with it.
When you’re not getting deep rest, you become more susceptible to illnesses, you have trouble concentrating, and you become moody and short-tempered. And this is just the start of the problems that come along with sleep deprivation.
The more sleep deprived you become, the more stressed and exhausted you will be, which is a major detriment to your attitude and productivity at work. In order to show up to work as your best self, it’s important to focus on keeping your sleep cycle healthy.
1. Create a wind-down routine
Does your job keep you up at night? If so, your lack of sleep is contributing to a nasty cycle of stress.
Harboring stress makes it very difficult to lie down for sleep at night. Even if your body is tired and ready for sleep, your mind isn’t ready to turn off if you’re anxious.
In order to help prevent this, create a nighttime routine to wind down your body and your mind. You may not have time to take a warm, relaxing bath each night, but try a cup of herbal tea before bed. Teas with lavender and chamomile are thought to help you relax and fall into a good night’s sleep.
You can also try simple nighttime yoga stretches like child’s pose and a supported reclining twist. This will help release any tension you’ve built up in your muscles and relax your mind at the end of the day.
It’s critical to develop a healthy distinction between your work and home life. Create your routine to signal your body that it’s time to settle down and turn off your work brain.
2. Evaluate your sleep environment
Do you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night? Or waking up periodically? Then it’s time to evaluate your sleeping environment.
Hang thick curtains or invest in a white noise machine to mask background sounds and street noise. Are you sweating in your sleep? Find lighter sheets or turn the air conditioning down to the optimal 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit for sleeping.
Take control of your environment instead of letting it control you.
3. Reconsider your mattress
There are many mattress options—including innerspring, memory foams and hybrids—that appeal to different types of sleepers with varying preferences.
In a recent study, 45% of Americans reported that they are currently sleeping on an innerspring mattress, but only 12.6% prefer this type of mattress. Do your research to find the best mattress for you that appeals to your comfort.
4. Cut back on the caffeine
Making multiple trips to the coffee machine during the afternoon? It may feel like caffeine gives you an energy boost, but it’s also keeping you up at night and preventing you from getting your best sleep.
Consider ways to boost your energy naturally to avoid unnatural spikes in energy and restless nights.
5. Be consistent
Don’t let wild weekends or late work nights throw your sleep schedule off. If you lose the consistency of your sleeping schedule, it’s hard to catch up and get back on track.
Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day helps set your body clock and keeps you feeling balanced.
The bottom line: It’s never worth sacrificing your sleep, because you ultimately sacrifice your productivity and mental health. So dedicate the time necessary to set a healthy sleep routine.
Laurie Larson is a freelance writer who enjoys working on her personal health and applying best practices to achieve her professional goals.