It is a well-known fact that a good night's rest can boost your energy levels, and therefore your productivity. However, how many of us actually get the recommended eight hours of restful sleep? Our lives are too busy and we try to pack too much into our day; as a result we go to bed later and get up earlier to fit more into our day.
We forgo exercise or a proper diet, grabbing unhealthy snacks as we rush to another appointment. Very often that sugar-laden snack is consumed just before going to bed, and then you wonder why you can't fall asleep.
Travis Bradberry, the author of "Emotional Intelligence 2.0," says that sleep deprivation can harm your career. "Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board," he says. "It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels, and emotional reactivity."
Pain can be one of the top killers of sleep and productivity. Your pain could be caused by a repetitive use injury, such as carpal tunnel, or because you aren't using the right chair at work, your work station isn't set up ergonomically, or because you have an old mattress.
The quality of your sleep is directly related to the quality of your mattress, and if you're still using a mattress that is more than 8 years old, you are probably losing sleep because of it. Mattresses are an investment, but so is your business. If you're not sleeping, you're not productive, and your business isn't thriving.
2. Time Management
If you are somebody who cannot go to sleep until you have done all your duties for the day, you probably need some time-management lessons. Poor time management has an impact on your entire day because if you cannot seem to finish one task before the other is due, then you are not analyzing your tasks and available time properly.
The only person who puts stress on you is you. The biggest sin we all commit is the inability to say "no." Once you learn how to say "no," a major part of your time management issues will magically be resolved. Kevin Daum, Inc. 500 entrepreneur and best-selling author, suggests keeping a time log, scheduling related tasks together, improving your punctuality, and adding a break time to your workday.
If you're going to make the time to sleep, just go ahead and do it. I personally even made it a New Years goal of mine. You have to prioritize the things that are important to you and sleep should be one of them.
3. Medical Conditions
For some people, a health condition could be getting in the way of getting a good night's sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, some health problems that can cause insomnia are sinus and nasal problems, gastrointestinal issues (like acid reflux), hyperthyroidism, asthma, and even certain medications.
If you suspect that a medical condition is causing your lack of sleep, and hurting your productivity, see a medical professional to diagnose and treat your condition. Treating these underlying conditions will likely cause you to be more productive, not only because you're getting better sleep, but because medical conditions can directly affect your work.
4. Bad Habits
Your daily habits are probably causing you trouble in the sleep area. Some of these bad habits, especially those leading up to bedtime, can really wreak havoc on sleep. Do you get any exercise during the day? Sitting at a desk for long periods of time can cause insomnia. Try getting up and taking a walk.
Are you fueling your body with sugar and caffeine? Although these substances can give you boost of energy during the day, the effects wear off quickly, leaving you groggy and tired during the day and unable to sleep at night. It's a vicious cycle, so lay off the afternoon cola and candy bar.
Are you working right up until it's time to go to bed? Give yourself a break and stop working at least an hour before you plan to retire. This will give your body and mind time to wind down and prepare for sleep.