The narrative around sleep, from quality to amounts, is a growing cultural trend, though there are certainly two various camps.  One side boasts about acquiring an increase of hours like they do  the latest luxury item, the other still clings to the badge of honor of being "so busy," But no matter which camp you find yourself, this time of the year can be hard for anyone when it comes to balancing their day between active productivity and sleep.  Given that holiday season is in full swing coupled with year-end office responsibilities, and  2018 planning, it's a wonder any of us are able to grab any sleep at all, especially entrepreneurs. So how can you handle this crazy time of year in the best way possible when it comes to sleep or lack thereof?

First, arm yourself with a bit of data. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it's all about taking a nap if you don't get enough sleep at night.  This is the organization that has always pushed the 20-minute length for optimum naps. 

However, a recent study conducted by an international team of neurologists provided even greater insights.  They found that sleep deprivation can disrupt brain cells' ability to interact and communicate.  According to the study published which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, lack of sleep can result in temporary mental lapses that distort a number of physiological functions,

These scientists found that people who took a nap after lunch did better on the mental agility tests than those who did not sleep in the middle of the day.  The study concluded that one hour was the optimal nap length and that people who had much longer or shorter rests - or no naps at all - performed up to six times worse on memory and math tests. Seems like 60 minutes is now the new 20. Scientists have linked sleep deficiency to many chronic health problems, including heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and even depression.

But if we all had an hour for a nap, we would probably just add that to the overall amount of sleep at night!  So if you find yourself a bit short on proper rest, here are a few tips to help boost your energy until as we all race toward the end of the year:

1)  Ginseng: We all know about coffee but ginseng not only gives a healthy boost but also protects against stress as well as avoids that horrible crash from coffee.  Just a dropper full in a little water really helps builds energy and supports your body rather than depletes, like coffee does.

2)   Sugar: Avoid it if you are short on sleep.  Instead, try to eat more protein, which promotes wakefulness, or complex carbohydrates that release a gradual stream of energy into your system.

3)  Walk: Try to take a quick walk outside. Your blood circulation will increase and that will help you feel more alert.  And if you're on the east coast, then it will be even more beneficial because it will be brisk outside. 

4) Meditate: - Suzette Smith, fitness guru and owner of Shelter Island Barre & Pilates suggests, "Work in even a 10-minute break to mediate and restore. There are great apps that offer hundreds of meditations. The Insight Timer is an app that is free. I love it for a quick way to reconnect with myself and my breath." 

 

Of course 7-10 of sleep is always best,  but if  you can't grab that amount, you can still try to support your body in other ways.  Try to focus as best you can, be compassionate with yourself and look toward a finish line so that you can get back to a schedule that supports you in the best way.  

Published on: Nov 30, 2017
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