You’ve found that dream job and you’re just aching to go after it. Maybe you’ve enrolled in classes and you hope to learn a new skill.
Just how exactly are you supposed to juggle getting together a portfolio, preparing for your upcoming interview or studying for your new degree you hope to earn? Not to mention you still have to continue taking care of the kids, making healthy meals, getting in a little exercise in each day, personal relaxation, date night….wait a second, where is there any time left for sleep?
Making time to catch some ‘zzz’s’ can sometimes get shoved down to the bottom of the to-do list. With the 58 other items on the docket it can seem like you’ll never get it all done. Well, let me let you in on a little secret: you aren’t going to get it all done today. So stop stressing about what you don’t have time for and start prioritizing your sleep.
Getting into a routine and maintaining a good sleep schedule is the key to being the most productive, successful version of yourself.
I used to have trouble fitting sleep into my schedule too! I would stay up late on my computer or catching up on things I didn’t get done that day. Before I knew it, I was severely sleep deprived. Making the decision to transform my sleeping habits has transformed my life in more ways than you can imagine.
My mind and body are synced to fall asleep at the same time every night and I naturally wake up early at the same time every morning – without an alarm. I wake up with the focus and drive to accomplish many of the things I wish to get done each day.
Don’t fret if you’re not there yet. All you have to do is make small incremental changes. Simply make a decision to bump sleep up to the top of your priority list. Sleeping well should be the number one thing we do to take care of ourselves and it can unintentionally be safer for those around us as well, which brings me to my next point.
Not only is a lack of sleep bad for your career, your health and your attitude — it’s dangerous too! If you show up to your interview looking like you’ve pulled an all-nighter, your potential employer might think twice about hiring you. Or your current superiors might question if handing you that big project coming up is such a great idea.
Employers know that having sleepy employees is risky business. Studies done at Harvard show that less sleep leads to slow reaction times, poor decision making and diminished productivity. It has become apparent that many accidents on the job are caused by sleep deprived workers.
Sleep deprivation not only makes you look like a hot mess, but it can make even the sweetest person behave like a cranky toddler. In a research study performed on sleep-deprived adults, scientists took MRI scans of participants who were sleep deprived. “…Data suggests an amplified, hyper-limbic response by the human amygdala to negative emotional stimuli under conditions of sleep deprivation.” In other words, the more sleep deprived a participant was, the less they were apt to handle their own emotions.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the easiest task in the world. It took time and most of all, patience with myself. I would get so upset when I hit the snooze button in the morning, or if I would stay up late writing a blog post. I kept at it though and now, I don’t feel groggy in the morning at all. If I can do it, anyone can!
It’s news to no one that getting enough high quality sleep is important. But it is up to us to actually implement new strategies to improve our sleep-health. It may seem like a daunting task, but in the long run it will be worth it.
Not getting enough sleep due to stress or unfulfillment in your career/life? A coach can help! Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!
Sarah is the editor of Sleepy Deep. Feeling the repercussions of being an irregular sleeper for far too long, she decided to do something about it. She learned why sleep is so important and how to maximize it, and is now helping others who are struggling to find their right sleep routine.