Sleep & Productivity: 7 Things You Can Do To Get A Good Night's Rest
Sleep is an essential part of our daily routine and plays a crucial role in our overall health and well-being. More than that, however, getting a good night's sleep is directly linked to our productivity levels too. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, "poor sleep at night could mean decreased work productivity in the morning." This makes a lot of sense since when we're well-rested, we're more alert, focused, and energized, which means it's easier to do tasks and finish them.
5 Ways A Good Night's Sleep Can Boost Productivity
Improves cognitive function
Proper sleep enhances cognitive function, including attention, memory, and decision-making, all of which are helpful when it comes to doing and completing tasks.
With quality sleep, our minds are better able to come up with innovative ideas according to research, which can be handy when we're faced with challenging situations that require a unique, creative solution.
Enhances problem-solving skills
Good sleep alsohelps improve our problem-solving abilities and enables us to come up with solutions to complex issues. This is because it's when at rest that our"brain creates and maintains pathways that are critical for memory formation and retention."
Sleep plays a crucial role in physical recoveryand is the time our body rests, repairs, and strengthens itself. This can help keep us from getting sick and, even if we do fall ill, we're able to recover faster.
But how do you get not just enough sleep but a proper, restful one? What are the different ways we can improve our sleep quality so we can ensure we have the energy the next day to be productive? In today's blog post, we bring you 7 proven tips to sleep better at night!
1. Set a sleep schedule.
To get a better night's rest, it's important to have good sleep hygiene and a good place to start is by having a schedule that keeps your sleep patterns consistent. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body's circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle.
Use our Planner Refill to create a sleep schedule! Fits right into the Field Journal with the rest of your refills—it can fit up to six—for journaling, habit tracking, sketching, and more.
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2. Avoid electronic devices before bedtime.
Electronic devices, like our phones, emit blue light that can disrupt our circadian rhythm. It then affects the production of melatonin, a hormone that our bodies produce to regulate our sleep. This results in poor sleep—it will be harder for us to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Another reason why we should avoid electronic devices before sleep is that they can keep our minds active. Social media, email, games, and more can be stimulating to our brains, keeping us in a heightened state of alertness that can keep us from falling asleep.
3. Be mindful of your sleep environment.
A dark, quiet, and cool room can promote better sleep according to the CDC and studies suggest that bedrooms optimized for light and noise levels, temperature, and comfort help further. All these factors can significantly impact not just the quality, but also the quantity, of our sleep.
A comfortable sleep environment with a calming atmosphere that promotes relaxation and keeps anything that could disrupt sleep is ideal. After all, restful sleep requires us to stay asleep long enough that we feel rested as soon as we wake up.
4. Regular exercise also plays a role.
If you're having trouble sleeping, exercise is known to help improve the quality of your sleep, with low physical activity levels attributed to poor sleep. Studies have shown it can also help with insomnia. This is because the more exercise we get, the more time our body spends in deep sleep where it has enough time to rest, repair, and recover.
Just make sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime since the stimulation might interrupt your sleep.
If you're just getting started on regular exercise, you'll love this post about how to keep a fitness journal from our founder, Chris Elfering. Don't forget to pick up your own Pocket Journal, too! It's a handy way to keep track of your fitness goals anytime, anywhere!
Pocket Journal Refill
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5. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Since caffeine is a stimulant, drinking it before bedtime can make it difficult for us to fall asleep or else interrupt our sleep for the rest of the night. As for alcohol, though it can make us sleepy at first, the sedating effect is not long-lasting and it can interfere with sleep later on.
There seems to be a lot of different information when it comes to how long before bed we can consume these drinks, but based on studies, the timeframe falls anywhere between 3 to 8 hours.
6. Take naps the right way.
Though there are a lot of benefits to naps, it's important that they don't end up interrupting our internal body clock to the point that it interrupts our normal sleeping patterns or cause sleep problems.
Timing is everything—for example, the best time to nap is in the afternoon during our body's "natural circadian dip". Keeping it short is also important so that it doesn't mess up your sleep in the evening. But if you're napping because you're not getting enough sleep at night, then perhaps it's time to reevaluate your bedtime habits and make changes there.
7. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
Just as our other routines get us ready to do certain things, having a bedtime routine that helps us relax and wind down can make a difference in giving us better sleep. A set of habits that we do each night can alert our brains that we're getting ready to go to bed.This means we won't have any problems falling asleep and will probably even fall asleep faster.
Fall asleep with purpose!
Just by looking at the positive effects of a good night's rest, there's no doubt that our overall productivity can only improve with better sleep. How fast we fall asleep and staying asleep to get the ideal number of hours to feel well rested after, are things that we have to consider. We hope doing these seven things can help you get started on getting more optimal shuteye!
What other things do you do to make sure you get enough sleep each night? Share it with us and everyone else in the comments!