Workday Stress-busting tip #5--Sleep
Here’s the last tip in the series, and I’m kind of cheating because this tip isn’t necessarily one you’re
going to do at work. But it’s simple, and oh so necessary….sleep! Now, if you work for a very progressive
company that has nap rooms and is okay with you taking a snooze in the middle of the day, then go for it.
For everyone else, just try to get a bit more sleep at night. Different people require different amounts of
sleep. In general, adults require 7 to 9 hours per night. Anything less than 5 hours probably puts you in
the sleep deprived category.
Better sleep is connected with lower stress levels during the day. When we get good sleep, we are better
equipped to handle the challenges that come our way during the day. Anyone who has taken care of
young children knows that when a child hasn’t had enough sleep, they’re much more likely to have a
meltdown…frustration, tears, tantrums. Guess what folks? We adults are no different that those children.
We’re just more practiced at keeping the tantrums inside our heads…and sometimes, not so much.
In addition to the lower stress levels, better sleep is allows for consolidation of memories and skills
acquired throughout the day, and increased creativity. In turn this is going to increase productivity at
work. It is also associated with decreased inflammation and better healthy living choices. Once again, the
connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind is at play.
It can be as simple as turning off the TV a half hour earlier than usual or putting away your book a little
earlier. For those of you who may have trouble falling asleep, try some of our other stress-busting tips
before bed. The progressive muscle relaxation and the mindful breathing exercises are really easy ones
to do before bed and often help to calm the mind before sleep.
We live in a society that tells us to wear our lack of sleep like a badge of honour. But there is little honour
in being short-tempered, or losing focus in a meeting, or walking around tense for half the day because
we’re having trouble coping. Instead, let’s honour our bodies and our minds by giving ourselves what we
need. And for goodness sake… go to sleep!