Adequate sleep required for peak performance
From Business Psychology Associates
Quality sleep is essential to physical and emotional health. Poor sleep can contribute to feelings of fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, and susceptibility to illness. Difficulty falling asleep due to focusing on thoughts and concerns can be a symptom of anxiety.
Experts say it’s possible to get a good night’s sleep by making only minor adjustments. Try these tips for about six weeks, and you’ll get better, deeper, sounder sleep:
1. Stay on schedule. Your body loves a regular sleep routine, so try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. That means no napping or sleeping in on weekends. If you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed (go into another room if you have to), and do something quiet. Don’t let yourself fall asleep outside the bedroom. Go back to bed when you’re sleepy, and repeat this process as often as you need to during the night.
2. Dress for sleep. Put on whatever’s comfortable, but don’t layer it on in bed. Body temperature drops prior to falling asleep, rises during the night, and then falls before you wake up. Think lighter pajamas rather than heavy ones.
3. Upgrade your mattress. Give your body the support it needs to relax by sleeping on a good, firm bed.
4. Watch those pre-bed workouts. Exercising several hours before turning in will relax you; strenuous physical activity done too close to bedtime may make you feel wired.
5. Move the television. Research on children shows that kids who had the most sleep disturbances were those who had a television in their bedroom and used TV to fall asleep, and the same applies to adults.
6. Don’t get buzzed. Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime. Caffeine stimulates the brain, so decline the after-dinner cup of coffee. And while alcohol might make you fall asleep faster, it can shorten the time you spend in deeper stages of sleep, causing you to wake up during the night. Cigarettes can have a similar effect.
7. Create a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom. Eliminate disturbing sounds and light. If your alarm clock has illuminated numbers, put a cloth over it. Turn down the thermostat; lower body temperature promotes sleep. Decorate your bedroom in soothing shades of green and blue; reds, oranges, and yellows can be over stimulating.
8. Eat a non-stimulating snack. A low-fat, low-calorie carbohydrate snack should help put you out. Try these:
1 cup of warm milk
1 1/3 cups of breakfast cereal without milk
3 fig g bars
1 cinnamon-raisin English muffin
1 bowl of cinnamon-spice instant oatmeal
1 toaster-size frozen waffle with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
Changes in sleep patterns, decreased energy, and persistent feelings of hopelessness or negativity are red flags that may indicate depression.
For additional information or assistance, please contact Business Psychology Associates, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, or consult a mental health professional