We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. But, a lot of us are really bad at getting a full 8 hours. In fact, according to data published by the National Health Interview Survey, most adults get less than 6 hours of sleep each night. This might not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to being a productive and effective leader, getting little sleep can cause big problems in the workplace. The next time you push back your bed time, think about the benefits that come with a full night’s sleep, like these ones:
Effective Problem Solving
When we’re tired, solving problems can become much more difficult. Without enough sleep, our minds might feel slow, making it hard to think through problems and coming up with solutions. Sleep supports our basic cognitive functions like recognizing patterns and making insights, or solving problem and coming up with solutions. When we’re fully rested, our minds can quickly picture scenarios and more effectively predict obstacles and problems, while coming up with probable solutions.
Being Present to Others
Communicating and working with others can take a lot of patience, especially in a workplace setting. When we are sleep deprived, we are more likely to overreact and misinterpret people’s body language, as well as verbal and nonverbal messages. As a leader, it’s extremely important to communicate with others intentionally and effectively. However, our ability to do so decreases when we aren’t completely rested.
Creativity and Innovation
Good leaders know how important creativity and innovation can be in a workplace setting. However, in order to exercise these skills, we need to be operating with a mind that is fully rested. When we’re tired and worn out, it can take all the energy we have just to get through the day.
Of course, getting enough sleep seems like a simple thing to do. However, a good night’s sleep requires more than just getting into bed. The next time you bunker down for the night, you might consider some of these tips to ensure a night of good, quality sleep:
- Take time to calm down. It can be difficult getting to sleep if your body and mind are restless. Try avoiding exercise and eating at least 2 hours before you want to fall asleep. Digestion and exercise can actually energize the body, so give yourself plenty of time after eating and exercise before you hit the hay.
- Avoid screentime before bed. It’s true that screens can affect our quality of sleep. The light and activity we consume from our screens can make it difficult to fall asleep. Try putting your screens away before you get into bed. Instead of watching TV or looking at your phone, consider reading a book or magazine instead.
- Establish a sleep routine. Our bodies react best to habit, especially when it comes to getting quality sleep. Consider making a nightly routine for yourself in order to establish better sleeping habits. This could include a cup of decaffeinated tea before dozing off, or writing in a journal for 20 minutes.
At Quadrivium Advisors, we know how important sleep is, especially for leaders and business owners! What do you do to get more high-quality sleep in your home?