Sleep better to work better
Monday, June 11, 2018
Your inbox is filled to the brim, you're cruising toward multiple deadlines, and you're facing a day full of meetings — all on four hours of sleep.
There’s no doubt about it: we all face insomnia from time to time, and it's bound to make an impact at the office. Yet, you can break the pattern.
If you've been feeling extra-exhausted lately, here are a range of surprising but surefire tips for rebooting your internal clock and making a fresh start when it comes to getting the rest you need:
Research from the University of Colorado, Boulder finds that scheduling a weekend camping trip can have a powerful effect on resetting your circadian rhythm.
Study subjects who spent most of their time outdoors during a two- to seven-day period, then slept outside at night, found themselves getting tired two and a half hours earlier than their normal bedtime.
Plus, they naturally got up with the sun and still felt more refreshed than they did at their normal wake-up time. The researchers report that these new sleep habits persisted once the subjects returned home, too, allowing them to enjoy more energy on a daily basis.
Reposition your air conditioner
A Japanese study found that even on a very hot night, having your AC blow air directly onto your body can cause immediate movement in your sleep, waking you up multiple times a night.
Setting up a window unit the correct way makes a huge difference.
Use this "four breaths" trick
The next time you wake up at 2 a.m. worrying about tomorrow's meeting and can't fall back to sleep, rise to sit on the side of your bed, then take a deep breath in.
Hold for six seconds, then exhale out deeply. Repeat this three more times, then lie back down.
This breathing exercise will instantly calm your anxious mindset, lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and send you back to sleep.
Share happy talk before bed
Research presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Convention found that military couples separated by distance who communicated happy news back and forth immediately had less sleep problems.
This trick also works if you talk with a friend in the evening and express happiness for that person's good news, even if that news has no direct impact on you personally. Social generosity is good for the soul, and for getting your ZZZs!
Write down your work concerns before bed each evening
Use a specific notebook just for the purpose of purging yourself of any worries you have about the next days' tasks, from feeling stressed over a presentation to that talk with your regional supervisor that you want to ace.
Then, under each concern, note how well you'll handle each situation. If you're worried about a presentation, for example, you can counter your anxiety by noting, "I've prepared my material for weeks, so I will do fine."
The end result: you'll be reassured by your own capability. Your mind and body will relax, so you can enjoy a great night's sleep. Try it starting tonight!
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