Sleep Is Mandatory, Not Optional!!
By: Charron Monaye
Have you ever heard someone say “I’ll sleep when I die”? People say this to justify why they stay up 24 to 72 hours straight to get the job done. Now, I don’t always get 8 to 10 hours of sleep, but even when I was building my business, I didn’t stay woke 48 or 72 hours. There were times when I did stay up 24 hours because I had a deadline to meet, but that wasn’t because I wanted to grind it out. It’s because I didn’t manage my time effectively. When I was working in the music industry, producers used to always tell me, “Hits are made at night.” But, with working a full-time job, being a mom, and trying to write, the only hits being made at night was my head against the pillow.
Before we move forward, let’s discuss why sleep is so important. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. For the sake of reading, I will offer you eight actions that I have incorporated into my life to ensure that I get my rest:
Trim down your workplace duties. Whether you’re launching a new business or starting a position at a new company, it’s vital to set aside time to sleep. Evaluate your workload, prioritize the most important things, and figure out what you can hold off on or pass along to co-workers who have more time. Prioritizing sleep starts with prioritizing your workday.
Stop drinking caffeine after lunch. It’s okay to indulge in a cup of joe in the morning, but it’s important to refrain from consuming any caffeinated drinks in the afternoon or evening. If you do, you’re not only at risk of having trouble falling asleep but staying asleep, as well.
Relax before bed. Take at least ten minutes before bed to relax. This could be through meditation or yoga. Doing something that focuses on your breathing will calm your mind and reduce stress to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Turn off your phone. To avoid distractions at night, whether that means incoming calls or the temptation to go on Facebook, turn off your phone before catching some zzz’s.
Your bed is for sleeping only. Don’t bring work to bed with you or do any other activities in bed, such as watching Netflix or scrolling on Facebook. As a matter of fact, stay out of your bedroom unless you’re going to sleep.
Listen to your body. No matter how many articles tell you to wake up early in the morning, the truth is not everyone is a morning person. Everyone is different when it comes to sleep. That’s why it’s vital to listen to your body’s needs. If you force yourself to wake up early, you may not be able to get your best work done because your mind is not fully awake yet. Pay attention to when your body is tired and figure out the best time for you to get a good night’s sleep.
Rethink your diet. Cutting out sugars and highly processed foods will help you get a sound night’s sleep. These foods do harm to your metabolism and insulin levels, which directly impact your sleep. Also, refrain from eating a big meal two hours before going to bed.
Create a healthy sleep schedule. Committing to a sleep schedule is vital to ensure you get a certain number of hours of sleep each night of the week. To get started, set an alarm at night to remind you to start getting ready for bed and another alarmto wake you in the morning.