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Inspiring Thoughts from EAC

Sleep Productivity and You

Tired? Welcome to the club. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that almost one-third of American adults get less than seven hours of sleep per night.

Because our culture encourages a fast-paced lifestyle, it seems natural that getting more done sometimes requires giving up some time in the sack. And if the trade-off is a bit of bleary-eyed morning grumpiness, then we’ll happily take it.

Here’s why that attitude is counterproductive—multiple studies show that you’re actually less productive when you aren’t getting enough sleep. In fact, sleeping more may actually help you get more done during the day.

According to experts, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Skipping even an hour of needed rest can carry significant costs, including:

  • Poor judgment
  • Difficulty learning and retaining information
  • Difficulty processing complex information
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Irritability
  • Impatience
  • Negativity
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased concentration
  • Diminished self-control
  • Poor reflexes

So what are some keys to a good night’s rest?  Focus on these tips:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Instead of sleeping in on weekends to compensate for lost sleep, try going to bed an hour or two earlier at night and keeping this schedule all week long.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping. This will help train your body to fall asleep quickly when you tuck in for the night.
  • Keep your room dark.
  • Don’t exercise too close to bedtime. The resulting endorphin release will energize you and keep you awake.
  • Use “white noise” such as a fan to dampen outside noise.
  • Lower the thermostat. Studies show that a cooler temperature helps create more restful sleep. Go as low as you can while still remaining comfortable.
  • Avoid caffeine in the evening. Half the caffeine you consume will still be in your body six hours later.
  • Don’t use alcohol to excess. Having a few drinks may help you go to sleep, but it will also disrupt your sleep cycle, leaving you tired in the morning.
  • Invest in a good mattress. Mattresses stop offering the right amount of support after about ten years.
  • Shut out negativity. If television news causes you stress and worry, then skip that late newscast and do something that relaxes you instead.

Chances are, if you follow these tips,  you will see a difference in your mood, energy level, and productivity. And you’ll feel like a new person.

What is your biggest challenge from getting enough sleep? Leave a comment below.

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