Success Begins with a Good Night’s Sleep

Success Begins with a Good Night's Sleep

When you’re well rested, you’re able to perform at a higher level. Your focus improves, your creativity improves and your productivity improves. However, more than 40% of Singaporeans are not getting enough sleep [1].

Ironically, the issue often arises from a desire to get more done. You stay late in the office for a few nights to complete your work. You might even get praised for this effort. Unfortunately it adds up and will impact your performance in the long term.

While managing your time is a whole other ballgame, we’ve put together our best advice for helping you to improving the quality of your sleep.

Success Begins with a Good Night’s Sleep

Implement a routine, and stick to it

Try to sleep and wake at the same time every day. Over time, this will help your body to fall asleep quicker at night and improve the quality of your sleep. As tempting as it may be, avoid sleeping in during the weekends. Research has shown that this can undo the routine and may cause you to feel even more lethargic[2].

Take power naps strategically

Power naps are an effective energizer. Aim for 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon. Avoid anything longer as you may enter deep sleep and struggle to wake from it without feeling drowsy. Steer clear from late evenings as well, as the energy boost may prevent you from falling asleep!

Exercise regularly

Research shows that regular exercise can improve the quality of your sleep[3]. It promotes alertness during the day and helps bring about sleepiness at night. However, be mindful of the timing you plan your exercise session at. Bear in mind that the stimulation of exercise within 4 hours of bedtime may make it harder to fall asleep.

Consider what (and when) you eat

Your diet and when you eat certain foods can have a significant impact on your sleep. Everyone’s different, but generally it’s harder to fall asleep if you’ve just had a cup of coffee or heavy meal. If you’re looking for a snack before bedtime, try cheese and crackers. The combination of carbohydrates and tryptophan (naturally occurring in the cheese protein), will help you to relax and fall asleep more easily.

Prepare sleep environment

A well prepared sleep environment will help you to fall asleep more easily. Try some of the following:

  • Keep things quiet and dark. Pop in a pair of earplugs and slip on an eye shade. The reduced distraction often helps people to sleep more easily.
  • Turn down the temperature. Research shows that people sleep best in a slightly cool environment between 18-23 degree Celsius[6]. The shift from hot to cold produces melatonin[7], which induces sleep.
  • Try a relaxing scent. Smelling lavender or chamomile before you sleep can promote relaxation and helps you to sleep more soundly.

Relax and clear your mind

Last but not least: spend some time relaxing before bed. Empty your thoughts onto a notebook. Take a warm shower or bath. Put on some soft music. Maybe read a book you enjoy. Try to avoid watching tv or using your phone during this time as these devices can make it harder to fall asleep. A simple 30 minute ritual like this could just be what you need to transition from the hustle and bustle into slumber.

Ready for a good night’s sleep?

It’s a common misbelief that to feel well rested, we have to sleep more. It’s time to change that misconception and think quality instead of quantity!

Your Career Management Experts,

ExecBoardinAsia

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References

[1] http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/more-than-40-of-singaporeans-not-clocking-enough-sleep-on-weekdays

[2] http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/are-you-tired-from-too-much-sleep

[3] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201309/better-sleep-found-exercising-regular-basis-0

[4] http://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/foods-that-could-boost-your-serotonin#Overview1  

[5] http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/melatonin-overview#1

[6] https://www.simplemost.com/science-says-sleeping-cold-room-better-health-because-body-heat/

[7] http://www.chronobiology.ch/wp-content/uploads/publications/2006_07.pdf