According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), low-quality sleep has a negative effect on employees’ productivity in the workplace. Sleep-deprived employees tend to experience memory lapse, low concentration, difficulty learning, frequent absenteeism, and high rates of sick leave. To avoid these problems, you should get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Keeping this in mind, here are 8 practical ways to improve your sleep for a more productive work week.
A study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) indicates that a 26-minute power nap can improve alertness by 54% and work performance by 34%. Power naps reduce fatigue, enhance concentration, improve memory, sharpen motor skills, and refresh your mind. Hence, you should consider taking power naps during the day to enhance work productivity and keep drowsiness at bay. The secrets to taking effective power naps include:
- Limiting a power nap to a maximum of 30 minutes.
- Napping in a quiet and dim environment.
- Taking power naps in the early afternoon (ideally between 1 pm to 3 pm).
Turn Off Lights at Night
For better sleep at night, switch off your lights before you go to bed. This is because darkness allows your body to produce sufficient quantities of a hormone called melatonin, which controls your body’s circadian rhythm, otherwise known as the sleep-wake cycle. Disruption of the circadian rhythm can cause health problems such as obesity, depression, chronic illnesses, and insomnia, as reported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Therefore, if you must have some lights on, let it be a red light that doesn’t affect melatonin levels significantly.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The foods you eat not only affect your health, but they also play a significant role in your night’s sleep. For instance, coffee contains caffeine, which is known to increase alertness and disrupt sleep. Bearing this in mind, you should refrain from consuming food and drinks such as broccoli, alcohol, and dark chocolate, which may negatively affect your sleep quality. Instead, eat food rich in vitamins such as almonds, cherries, nuts, and bananas to improve your sleep quality. Make sure to eat a balanced diet a few hours before bedtime to improve your overall sleep quality.
A recent study by the National Sleep Foundation found that exercise lowers anxiety and depression. It also increases the body temperature, which eventually goes down, triggering the secretion of the sleep hormone. With this in mind, taking a few stretches in the afternoon can help you sleep like a baby later in the night. However, note that doing strenuous exercise right before bedtime can lead to low-quality sleep.
Stick to One Sleeping Routine
An irregular sleeping pattern can easily mess with your overall sleep quality. You will experience problems waking up early during weekdays, which will disrupt your sleep for the whole week. Hence, you should maintain a constant sleeping routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
Increase Bright Light Exposure During the Day
Sunlight or bright light during the daytime helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This not only increases daytime energy but enhances the quality and quantity of sleep at night.
Optimize Your Bedroom Environment
Your bedroom’s setup, including its temperature, noise, external lights, and furnishings, plays a vital role in ensuring a good night’s sleep. Various studies show that external noise, fluctuating room temperature, and lighting result in poor sleep and long-term health issues. So it’s advised to minimize noise, artificial light and set the room temperature in a way that you feel comfortable throughout the night.
Take a Relaxing Bath or Shower
One of the most popular ways to get a good night’s sleep is by taking a bath or shower before going to bed. Studies reveal that taking a hot bath before bed can improve your sleep quality.
A good night’s sleep is essential for a productive day at work, so make sure to put the tips mentioned above into practice to see visible changes in your sleep quality and productivity levels.
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