Sleep affects productivity; it is no secret. Consequently, the internet and newsstands are brimming with articles like that published by The BBC: ‘How much can an extra hour’s sleep change you?’ which discusses the results of a study carried out to expose the difference an additional hour of kip can make to a person’s performance and productivity.
Some publications such as the Daily Mail newspaper have even gone as far as to publish articles with titles as controversial and dramatic as: ‘The real reason you’re not productive at work? Lack of SLEEP: Get seven hours a night and you can ‘drink, eat and smoke what you like’ in which insufficient sleep is reported as more harmful to productivity than diet, alcohol intake and even smoking cigarettes. Hence, whilst advice on maximising productivity rarely suggests that simply addressing poor sleep habits could enable people to eat, drink and smoke what and as much as we please whilst also reaching our maximum potential productivity, one fact is undeniable: sleep plays a massive role in how productive a person is.
But then how does a person turn a nightmare sleep routine on its head and so stand to reach their full productivity potential? Here are three perhaps surprisingly simple tips that are well worth trying.
Even if the very idea of redecorating the room, feng shuiing the furniture or ditching the gadgets induce nightmares, there are still small, easy and inexpensive things you can do to make nodding off less of a nightmare.
Firstly, invest in a new pillow that is right for you by searching via an actual expert bedding specialist such as SleepyPeople.com, whose products and advice make shopping for the perfect pillows both stress free and affordable.
Secondly, whilst shopping for a pillow that provides support and comfort, treat yourself to a duvet that is appropriate to the season to banish night sweats, shivers and the faff of blankets that come with plugs and double up as gadgets.
And, thirdly and finally, consider revitalising an old, worn or otherwise uncomfortable mattress with the addition of a mattress topper that will not only provide an extra layer of comfort but can also be easily removed, cleaned and even replaced more regularly to maximise comfort and too improve hygiene to ensure it isn’t the bed bugs or allergens keeping you from otherwise sweet dreams.
Reprioritising is not just a matter of good organisation. In fact Reprioritising involves taking a closer look at what exactly is important. In the flurry of meetings, kids, shopping, cleaning and everything else often the first things to fall from the top of the list are the three things we need before all else: sleep, fuel and fulfilment are the three things that people often overlook ironically to try and be productive.
That is, we skimp on sleep to try maximise productivity, eat on go (which also too often means eating things that further sap rather than boost our ‘get up and go’) and do not make time to even question why or ask ourselves: is what I am doing fulfilling? Yet, if we simply addressed these three key areas, most if not all of us would almost certainly find ourselves not just being more productive but like the most productive people out there, far happier as well.
Stress is not just a major cause of insomnia, but on top of making it hard to sleep stress further makes it hard to be productive. Unfortunately, often the place we are required to be our most productive at is the very place where, through being under such pressure to perform well, we become stressed as the Forbes online article: ‘Workplace Stress Leads To Less Productive Employees’ explains. Hence, add the added stress of not sleeping well to the direct and detrimental affect stress has on productivity and you are heading for trouble.
Because nobody can avoid the reality of stress in the modern world though, the trick then is to learn how to relax and take control of your stress levels.
For some this might mean a yoga class, for other something as simple as a hot bath before bed might suffice, whilst others may find things as individual as adult colouring books or even taking on extra roles such as volunteering actually help them to restore the calm. The point is, working out what acts as your ‘de-stresser’ without resorting to alcohol, over eating or pills is essential to being a productive person, so make time if not yet to relax then at least to work out what relaxes you.