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Tuesday
May232017

Let’s Talk About Sleep, Baby

Sleep is one of the first things we neglect when life gets a bit too hectic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls our sleep habits – or lack thereof -- a “public health epidemic,” on the same level as an outbreak of disease, because a very small percentage of people can function properly with little to no sleep.

Almost half the population isn’t getting enough sleep. The effects of not getting enough sleep may even carry over into some jobs. “Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.” Health.com explains that getting more sleep consolidates memories which makes them stronger and your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well. Some days you feel the effects of lack of sleep more than others, and we call know what the bad days can be like.

How do we make changes to help our sleep habits? Below are some of the most tried and true tips to improve the quality of your sleep and your life.

Listen to your body: Neglecting sleep is easy because the adverse effects don’t impact the body all at once. However, the human body will do everything in its power to regain homeostasis. It’ll tell you repeatedly that sleep is the answer. Besides the obvious signs like yawning and heavy eyelids, look out for breakouts on your skin, feeling like you’re in a fog, being more on-edge, and hormonal changes that increase appetite.

Hack your office: Getting more sunlight during the day has been proven to help you sleep better at night. Sit by the window or eat lunch outside. In an article from Entrepreneur, they suggest, “Invest in a daylight lamp and humidifier to purify the air around your desk…continuous sunlight during the day informs your body clock that it’s daytime, which means more alertness and productivity.”

Limit caffeine: I know, I know. I never thought I would write those words but, I do admit that coffee and I have a love-hate relationship. Most days I love the boost coffee gives me in the morning (and afternoon) but I have to say, I always regret that second cup by the time I’m winding down for the day. Doctors suggest that you avoid caffeine 6-8 hours before sleeping.

Set limits for yourself: As funny as it sounds, you have to allow your body to rest and feel at peace before you can physically go to sleep. Know that there’s only so much work you can do in a day. Communicate to people that you will not be online 24/7. By setting workday parameters, you’re avoiding a stressful work situation that could hinder a normal sleep schedule. No one wants to leave the office with unfinished projects, but with a good night’s sleep, you will return to the task with a fresh mind.

Taking little steps like these can make a huge impact on day-to-day life. We can all agree, there’s no feeling quite as amazing as laying down in a comfy bed after a long day of life. Employ some of these tips in your day-to-day life and in no time you’ll begin to see major changes in the quality of your sleep and life.


 

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