Updated: May 31
In our era of technology and productivity, sleep is more elusive than meets the eye. Busy professionals are more sleep deprived than ever before and it’s hurting performance in the short term and long term in business. Here are the top four mistakes they make in the bedroom and how to fix them.
1) Sleep is the Expendable Commodity
As my mother said growing up, you can’t burn the candle on both ends. Today, the pressures of work, personal life, communal responsibilities and fitness have us grabbing for time, trying to figure out how to fit it all in.
And for many, sleep gets the short end of the stick. It’s the one fungible commodity in our schedule and push comes to shove, people are working later, getting up at the crack of dawn, and having restless nights in between.
Does this look familiar?
But in our efforts to be more productive, we actually shoot ourselves in the foot. Evidence has shown that more tired hours at work are less productive than fewer hours with clarity and wakefulness.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too, so make sure your night time hours really count.
2) I’ll Catch Up on the Weekends
If you are one of those fortunate individuals who still gets weekends, be careful not to try to pack in your sleep 2 days a week.
First of all, although sleep debt is a reality, and you carry it with you like a ton of bricks for up to two weeks, it’s not so simple to just pay it off in one or two marathon nights.
The allure of weekend sleep...
Bears hibernate, people don’t. It can actually be counterproductive and you can wake up feeling more groggy than ever before.
It’s like being a lead-foot on the gas and the brakes, the wear on the car is huge and terrible for efficiency.
In addition, it totally throws off your sleep cycle. One of the key components of a healthy night sleep is a consistent bedtime and rise-time and weekend sleep binging will throw you for a loop.
3) I Work Best At Night Anyways
There is a growing model of self employed entrepreneurship and free lance work that allows people to make their own schedules and hours.
And for many, they feel most alert in the late night hours, undisturbed by the world around them.
The night catches up with you, one way or the other.
And I would agree, there are many sleep types and patterns, no one size fits all, but by-in-large, staying up late can be a detriment to our health, even if we are getting the hours elsewhere.
Our brains are not wired to be nocturnal, and while we try to switch our environment with bright lights and digital screens at night and black out curtain and eye masks by morning, the quality of sleep is reduced and our REM cycles are affected.
Try your best to live by day and sleep by night.
4) I Enhance My Career by Being Constantly Connected
The biggest challenge that professionals face when it comes to sleep is their connection to technology.
These digital devices allow us to be tuned in to our work life, coworkers, files and markets late into the PM and, bottom line, this is a disaster to sleep.
The most successful people are creative, dynamic, and visionary, not those who slave away at a computer around the clock.
Do you want to be a slave or a master at work?
Take a stand right now and make sure your boss and your coworkers know you have sacred hours that cannot be touched. Your wife, kids, and eyelids will thank you. And you’ll be a better worker able to take on the world tomorrow morning in much better shape.
Doron Lazarus is a sleep coach and founder of Lazarus Insomnia Consulting, a firm dedicated to helping professionals get the sleep they need to perform their best. To get in touch with him directly, email email@example.com or visit online at www.lazarusconsulting.org