Chances are you spend quite a bit of time thinking about and planning your success journey. You’re probably setting goals, creating action plans, and consistently working toward those goals. Things like goal setting, self-discipline, persistence, hard work, and determination are all wonderful ingredients toward accomplishing your goals. But what some people don’t pay much attention to is one essential ingredient for continued success: Sleep. Researchers assert that getting a good night sleep consistently is necessary for you to be at your best during the day so that you can accomplish your tasks throughout the day.
Why is sleep important?
If you’ve ever had a sleepless night or a night where you woke up 10 times tossing and turning, then you know that good sleep is essential. You wake up tired and irritable, struggling to make it through the day. It’s tough to get motivated and get the things done that you need to accomplish that day when you’re running on empty.
Sleep experts say that we should be getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. It’s alright to wake up once or twice, as long as you’re falling back to sleep within several minutes. But many people are getting less than 6 hours sleep every night and trying to be at their best during the day.
When you’re lacking in sleep
Besides going through the day feeling sleepy, what happens when you don’t get enough sleep? Well, various things happen when you consistently lack sleep time. Your anxiety level can increase, your motivation level can decrease, you might do sloppy work, you might not feel like talking to people or become cranky, and you can become more emotional and negative. Have you ever snapped at someone because you were so tired? Have you ever declined an invitation to something because you were just completely exhausted?
You might not even think that you’re sleep deprived, perhaps running on adrenaline or lots of caffeine. But when you don’t get enough sleep at night, it can affect your body underneath the surface. It’ll catch up with you eventually, just as stress can. Lack of sleep is added stress to your mind and body.
What about naps?
If you’re like many people, you can get sleepy right after lunch in the afternoon. Some studies suggest that taking a little power nap in the afternoon can really do you well. Even if its 15 or 30 minutes, taking that power nap can give recharge your body and help you feel better the rest of the day. It gives your brain a time to rest and reboot, helping you to function better mentally.
The studies are there to back this up too. In fact, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post believes in the power of short naps so much that she’s incorporated “nap rooms” for her employees to take a power nap during lunch break. Other companies are following suit.
If you’re struggling was getting a good night’s sleep, consider the following:
- Be consistent with your nightly routine. Do your best to follow the same kind of nightly routine before going to sleep. This gives your brain heads up that it’s time to start quieting down and get ready to get some sleep.
- Shut down your technology. Sleep experts say that you should shut off your television, tablet, laptop, games, or phone about an hour before you plan on going to sleep. This allows your brain to wind down and get ready for some shut-eye. Maybe read a book or take some time to meditate before getting some Zs.
- Skip the bedtime snack. Avoid eating just before you go to sleep, as that can cause you to have more difficulty falling asleep. Certainly, avoid caffeine before bed!
- Have sleepy tea. Some people have found that sleepy teas such as chamomile tea helps them relax and get better sleep.
So, how many hours of sleep are you consistently getting at night? Do your best to shoot for between 7 and 9 hours a night. You’ll find yourself feeling more alert and focused during the day.