If you want to conquer that messy sleep schedule of yours to boost your productivity, the first step to get closer to achieving that is to realize that sleep is not a burden or a target you need to fulfil; consider it to be a bank. How do you ask? Well, you have a specific amount that you would require to survive and stay comfortable, but barging into the negative could prove to be detrimental in terms of health (instead of your financial balance).
Of course, it’s a well-known fact that a human requires an average of six to eight hours of sleep, but it is never stated that you need to do so at night. You can easily hack your sleep schedule to suit your work schedule, and voila! You have conquered your sleep to increase your productivity.
How does your sleep affect your productivity?
Sleeping well has direct effects on your mental and physical well-being. If you fall short on ample sleep, it can drastically affect your productivity, daytime energy, emotional balance, and even your weight.
When you remain awake wide at 3 a.m., it may seem impossible to sleep well after that. However, your body and mind possess more control over the kind of sleep you get than your work schedule. The cure to sleep difficulties is often associated with your routine while you are wide awake.
Irregular daytime habits and lifestyle choices that are detrimental to your health will leave you fidgeting in your bed at night and have adverse effects upon your brain, heart, immune system, mood, creativity, weight, and vitality. However, the tips listed below will help you in sleeping better at night and enhance your productivity levels:
10 Objective Tips to Sleep Better and Wake Up More Productive
1. Exercise in the morning or afternoon
According to the National Sleep Foundation, morning and afternoon exercise sessions can help you fall asleep faster and more deeply than usual. Moreover, regular aerobic exercise improves sleep quality, reduces the risk of depressive symptoms, and increases vitality. However, it is recommended against vigorous exercise before bedtime as it reverses all the aforementioned benefits.
2. Avoid eating heavy meals before sleep
Studies have proved that food is processed differently by our bodies at different hours of the day. Hence, it is imperative to avoid consuming a heavy meal two or three hours before bedtime to let your body rest from processing the calories you added. Conversely, a hungry stomach will not make you sleep better either; so, do not sleep without eating a meal.
3. Sleep for multiples of 90 minutes
We all possess circadian biological rhythms (aka body clocks) that regulate the periods when we are awake or asleep. Every 90 minutes in your sleep, your body passes through two periods of REM sleep, distinguished in between by one period of non-REM sleep. So, to make the most out of your sleep time comfortably and yet be alert to wake up, it is advised to sleep for multiples of 90 minutes.
4. Develop a regular sleeping pattern
If you hit the bed at about the same time every night and set an alarm for about the same waking time every morning, you will find that both sleeping and waking feels easier. Doing the same activities before going to bed provides a cue to your body that it is time for sleep.
5. Do not check on your phone before going to sleep
Checking our mobile devices (such as smartphones, tablets, or computers) before falling asleep is a habit most of us possess. But studies have demonstrated that people staring at backlit screens before sleeping end up having lower-quality sleep. This is because the presence and absence of light help our brain decide whether to release the sleep hormone melatonin and make your body feel tired. Unplugging an hour or a half before bedtime essentially leads to better quality sleep and an easier waking up.
6. Start visualizing
Falling asleep is easier said than done for a lot of many people. Even after exercising, consuming the exact calories, and putting devices away before sleeping, you might still struggle to drift off. A solution to keep this from happening is by applying visualization techniques. You need to wire your mind to imagine and visualize a certain scenario that might help you fall asleep. Usually, people imagine serene nature or quiet solitude but you can visualize whatever makes you relax.
7. Get enough sleep for yourself
Usually, the number of hours of sleep your body needs varies from person to person. This is because of everybody’s chronotype: it is the natural tendency to feel sleepier or awake at particular hours of a day. It further affects the duration and the time of your sleep patterns.
8. Wind down and clear your head
Residual stress, worry, and anger accumulated throughout your awakened hours will make it difficult for you to sleep. Hence, it is crucial to work on managing overall stress levels. You can also try inventing a relaxing bedtime ritual that prepares your mind for sleeping, such as dimming the lights or a warm bath or listening to relaxing ASMR or audiobooks.
9. Improve your sleep environment
A peaceful bedtime ambience sends a message to your brain that it is time to relax and fall asleep. Even the minutest of changes to your environment can massively improve your quality of sleep. If you are unable to eliminate noise from nearby pestering sources, try overpowering it with a fan or a sound machine. Earplugs might help as well.
10. Avoid alarm buzzes that are sharp on the ears
If your alarm’s sound is the first thing you wake up to, it will set the tone for the rest of your day. So, to avoid a horrifying or perplexing start to your day, avoid alarm sounds that are too surprising or sharp on the ears.
A Final Word
We live in a world where different people experience their peak productivity levels at different hours of the day. While nighttime awakens the creative in a few, others get their best work done commencing from dawn. Whatever your case may be, you must utilize the time when you feel most productive.
Not only will this help you achieve increased focus, creativity, and productivity, but also free you from the pressures of trying to accomplish a task just because it is a “normal time to do it.”
There’s no such thing as ‘normal time’, it is simply your time.