When you look at your workdays, I’m sure we can all remember 2 notable examples. Day 1 - You feel full of energy, tasks are flying off your to-do list & you feel super focused. And Day 2 - Even little tasks seem hard, it looks like you’re working, but nothing’s really getting done & the only thing keeping your eyelids apart is coffee.
What’s the difference between having a super productive ‘Day 1’ versus a lazy and tired ‘Day 2’? I mean, it’s in the title… sleep, of course!
I find it so fascinating that not that long ago, even I thought that not sleeping much, working till late at night was the right way to do it. Back then, the idea of “if you sleep less, you get more things done” came to me from all the motivational quotes and hashtags around social media. Example: #sleepisfortheweak, with over 220 thousand mentions on Instagram. No, no, no! It’s one of the biggest misconceptions in today’s society around health, that has yet to be eradicated.
From the medical point of view, 3 main things happen when you’re sleep-deprived:
You lose focus. Your attention span becomes a lot smaller, you can lose your train of thought much more quickly, and your decision-making process worsens.
It’s a lot harder for you to remember things. When we sleep well, our brain is refreshed. The toxins are removed, and space for new memories is created. When we don’t sleep enough, our body doesn’t have enough time to go through all the necessary sleep processes.
Your whole body feels weak. All growth of bones, muscles & fat metabolism happens when we are sleeping. Thus, while pulling off an all-nighter, or such, you’re ridding yourself of all these reinvigorating metabolisms.
Still not convinced? Let’s look at the financial data to give you proof from the business side of things. According to a study conducted on the Cost of Poor Sleep back in 2010, the cost for lost productivity caused by sleep deficiency was already at a staggering $1987 per employee annually. Another study called Work Productivity Loss Associated with Sleep shows a 19-50% productivity loss due to sleep issues. With clinically diagnosed insomnia, productivity drops even lower.
For a lot of us, it can be quite mundane things that are messing up our sleep. Let’s look at the typical 3 and how you can quite easily conquer these agents of sleep disruption today.
Looking at screens late at night. All computer and phone screens emit blue light, which slows down the production of melatonin. This hormone sets the necessary inner sleeping processes in motion. Therefore you might be shortening your sleep by up to 90 minutes. Treat your body right & put the screens away at least an hour before going to bed. “Night Shift” filters also help, but only a little bit.
Checking messages before sleep. That’s one of the worst things you can do. Your devices don’t only emit blue light, but also carry all the potential notifications and online communication. Those either stress you out (increase your cortisol hormone levels) with negative messages or make you excited (increase your dopamine hormone levels) with positive messages. Both of these things make it much harder to fall asleep. Therefore, you should make airplane mode one of your best friends.
Evening snacks and drinks. Those can have an actively detrimental effect on your sleep. Eating before bed forces your stomach to work at night when your whole body should be relaxing and regenerating. Also, drinking coffee in the afternoon or grabbing a glass of alcohol will be of no help either. I’d recommend reading more about those in our previous articles. Before bed, drink some water or herbal tea, and your body will thank you. Watch out for black and green tea, both of which also contain caffeine in them.
One thing you must understand is that the sleep you’ve missed, you can never get back.
Now let’s move towards the 2 essential rules of sleep, which can rocket-boost your productivity, energy, and mood for every single day:
Sleep long enough. That’s what your grandma told you, and that’s what I’m telling you once more. If you don’t get those 8 hours of good sleep, you’re gonna feel it. Some people get used to shorter sleep times, and at different ages, the minimal sleep time slightly differs, but you can trust me on this one. Prioritize your time to sleep, cause if you don’t feel it now, you might get hit in 10-20 years & then it will be too late.
Have a constant sleep time routine. It is so powerful to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Yes, even on the weekends. If you’re sleeping longer over the weekend to balance out what you’re missing during the week, something’s not right. What can help is creating a morning and evening routine, just like when you were a child. In the morning, drink some water, move around, maybe some breathing exercises with a cold shower? In the evening, great tools are fresh air, warm shower, and dimmed warm light with no blue aspect.
It might seem like a lot if you’re just starting off, but learning these sleeping habits and implementing them into your daily life will have immense benefits.
This is precisely what led us to create the Undout Sleep Box. The revolutionary alarm clock that uses light & sounds to aid you in falling asleep and waking up in the most healthy & natural way possible. A physical tool to ease your way into the right sleeping habits, step-by-step. Join our newsletter to find out when we open up the orders to the public.
To sum it up, sleep is a real engine, when it comes to improving your productivity. Start today by putting away your phone before bed. Replace wine with water, coffee with tea, and remove midnight snacks. Little-by-little, learn to go to bed & wake up at the same time throughout your whole week. Get the necessary sleep at night to go and crush your day!
I hope you've found this article useful. Sleep well, and go achieve greatness.