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3 Ways Good Sleep Can Make You More Successful at Work

3 Ways Good Sleep Can Make You More Successful at Work

Wake up, sleepyhead!

It’s not even lunchtime yet and you’re fading fast on us. Guess you shouldn’t have stayed up until 2 AM binge watching that one show you found on Netflix you can’t seem to remember the name of right now, huh? Why is that, anyway?

Because you’re tired. Lack of sleep – or falling into the terrible clutches of what’s known as “sleep debt” – is one of the biggest hazards facing productive worker bees in the capitalist hive some of us were born into.

When you’re sleepy, you’re not going to feel up to the task of tackling the endless flood of paperwork that the working world’s axis spins on. Instead, you’ll feel like crawling up into a ball, praying for the world to go away for just a few more hours.

Trust us. We’ve been there – and it’s not a fun place to visit. Being tired at work not only puts a damper on your mood, it affects the people around you as well.

Your co-workers (or, worse yet, your boss) are more likely to come up and do that annoying thing where they ask you if you’re “feeling okay”. Ugh. The nerve of them.

Why is it that a good night’s sleep (which is described in great detail in the Sleep Advisor), is so important to have a productive day at the office? Being big sleep fans ourselves, we decided to look further into the matter and come up with a list of ways that an adequate amount of rest makes you more successful in the workplace.

It repairs your brain.

Did you know that sleeping repairs your mental processes and cleans up your neural pathways? Yes, there are good reasons why we absolutely have to go to sleep at night, and this is one of them.

According to Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, co-director of the University of Rochester Medical Center's Center for Translational Neuromedicine in Rochester, N.Y, sleep is necessary to clean out the toxins and unnecessary memory information from the brain.

“The brain only has limited energy at its disposal, and it appears that it must [make a choice] between two different functional states — awake and aware, or asleep and cleaning up,” Nedergaard was quoted as saying. “[It’s like] having a house party. You can either entertain the guests, or clean up the house, but you can't really do both at the same time.”

And we all know that a messy house isn’t welcoming for all your friends and their plus ones, now is it?

When you get a decent amount of mandatory unconscious time in at night, your brain will be more open and susceptible to the programming – er, the data that you need to absorb in order to function properly at work. Makes sense, right?

People will like you more.

Take it from us: being grouchy isn’t cool unless you’re a cute, fuzzy puppet who lives in a trash can. This is especially true in the workplace, where your colleagues are more likely to pick up on your, um, “negative aura energy”, man.

Getting better rest will make you charismatic, which means you won’t be a lot less likely to glare at people around you without actually meaning to. A study performed at the University of Washington discovered that tired people are more likely need to participate in what’s known as “emotional labor” – i.e. faking emotions – which turns other people off.

Being an “emotional laborer” expends a great deal of energy, especially when you’re trying to appear happy or excited. “Surface acting” is the most common type of emotional labor.

Otherwise known as “grinning and bearing it“, this is the state where you are insisting that you’re ”fine“ to people when, in reality, you feel like pulling the covers over your head and wish they’d stop asking you how if you’re feeling okay.

So if you want to seem less crabby and more naturally charismatic at work (and not snap passive aggressively at your team member in an email chain), 6-8 hours of nice, restful sleep will benefit you in the long run.

It helps you out physically.

Sleeping more doesn’t just help your brain out in the middle of the night when you’re off wandering around somewhere in the land of slumber. It also helps your body take care of itself physically. It also boosts your immune system, keeping you healthy and less accident prone due to fatigue or lack of focus.

Sleep also reduces cortisol, the hormone that causes stress, which will tax your body as well. The less of that you have, the fewer deadlines will seem to be like the apocalypse to you, and the better you’ll feel when you’re plugging away at whatever it is that you do at work. (We don’t want to assume anything.)

That’s all we’ve got for you now. We hope this will encourage you to get to bed on time tonight for once, you crazy party animal.

Need some sleep inspiration? Marcey discusses the importance of sleep in managing chronic illness and Hashimoto's Disease on two recorded webinars, found here – Work Well Play More Webinar Series.

 

This is a guest post from Sarah Jones of Venice Beach, California. She loves yoga, meditation, cycling and walking her dog Monty by the sea…or rather, having him walk her!! She has a mild obsession with anything related to sleep, which is what she blogs about regularly and is often chastised for poking her nose into her friends’ sleeping habits. She now knows better than to tell her image-conscious friend that she looks “a bit peaky” before asking her what she typically eats as a bedtime snack! Sarah takes her own advice on board as much as possible and has been laptop-free in bed for the past year. And she’s never slept better!

Why Eating Clean Can Boost Job Performance

Why Eating Clean Can Boost Job Performance

 What's this eating clean thing all about? We all have certain goals at work. Maybe you want to knock a presentation out of the park. Or perhaps you want to score a big new client. Or you might just want to get through the day and feel better about work—mentally, physically, emotionally.

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Tips for Restorative Sleep Infographic

Tips for Restorative Sleep Infographic

Far too many of us are trapped in a vicious circle with no restorative sleep and we don’t even realize it. If you’re one of the nearly 50 percent of American workers kept awake at night by anxiety over work, you’re most likely feeling the effects. When anxiety about our jobs prevents us from getting the right amount of sleep, it carries over into the next morning. That feeling of listlessness and fogginess can make it difficult to keep up with all of the tasks we have to do at work each day. In turn, that means we can fall behind in our tasks, which leads to more anxiety. More anxiety means more trouble sleeping, and the cycle repeats itself over and over again.

Even if stress and anxiety created by your job aren’t keeping you awake at night, chances are you’re still not getting the proper amount of sleep. That’s because our media-centric society and mobile technology have infiltrated every aspect of our lives. It’s far too easy to spend the last few minutes before going to bed scrolling through your social media pages or watching videos. As a result, we end up overstimulating our brains at a time when we should be giving them a chance to wind down and relax. Many of us also ignore the advice of doctors and stay up too late to binge watch TV shows or do other activities.

Can we power through it?

Although not getting enough sleep might seem like nothing more than a minor annoyance that we can simply “power through” the next day, the truth is, it’s a serious problem. Consistently failing to get the seven to nine hours of deep, restorative sleep we need each night does more than leave us feeling worn out the next day — it puts us at risk for health issues. Sleep is your opportunity to allow your body and mind to rest and recharge, and depriving your body and mind of that opportunity means they don’t have a chance to get some important work done. Bad sleep habits can open the door to health issues ranging from obesity to diabetes to heart disease. For this and many other reasons, practicing good sleeping habits is essential.

The most important sleep habit you can practice is getting enough hours of sleep, and being in bed at the same time every night. It’s also a good idea to unplug from electronic devices ahead of your bedtime to give your mind a chance to unwind. These and other tips for getting good, quality sleep are contained in the guide below, so review it and get out of the vicious circle that’s holding you back at work.

Tips For Restorative Sleep created by Virginia Spine Institute

The Secret Shame of High Performing Professionals

High Performers can produce, no doubt about it. The amount of productivity and results that comes out of a high performer is impressive. Crank it out and getter done. Boo-yah. Drop the mic.

But like most things, there’s more to the story and something always deeper than the surface. The reality is others see our “on stage” not our “back stage”. People simply don’t see the toll that not resting is doing to us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Or at least yet.

This is a guest post by Bryan Paul Buckley.


According to a recent Gallup poll, 40 percent of all American adults are sleep-deprived, clocking significantly less than the recommended minimum seven hours of sleep per night. (Source: The Sleep Revolution by Adrianna Huffington)

My assumption, since this used to be me, is many high performers sleep far less than seven hours, especially of “quality sleep” on a consistent basis and simply don’t stop to rest. It’s a necessary evil.

The reality is many High Performers secret shame is they simply don’t know how to rest.

This is my confession. I’m Bryan Paul Buckley. I’m a high performer, and I don’t know how to rest.

And it’s also the confession of many others. We’re in this together if we’re honest.

We’re good at projecting everything is okay. And who will question us with the result we’re putting up?!

I feel like a high-performance car which looks great on the outside, even impressive on the inside but just don’t open the hood!

I constantly run my RPMs in the red and my gas tank on fumes all the while putting in cheap gas, avoiding maintenance, and God forbid I need a repair which then better be quick and cheap as possible.

Just get me back on the road, man! Can you relate?

HERE ARE FOUR INNER THOUGHTS THAT ACCOMPANY THE SECRET SHAME OF HIGH PERFORMING PROFESSIONALS:

  1. MINIMIZE REST

    High Performers are highly skilled at minimizing anything that slows them down. We say the following comments:

    • Rest is a waste of time
    • I don’t really need as much as everyone else
    • I’ll sleep when I’m dead (even Bon Jovi titled a song by that name!)

      Sadly, it often results in mentally belittling others who do rest. We judge, and when we do, we feel better about ourselves as a result.
      Been there, done that? C’mon, man. I know there are more people out there doing this than me.

  2. AVOID REST AT ALL COSTS

    High Performers have a unique gift of always being busy. Every moment is calculated and used to produce results. Not slow down. And as a result, we’re always on the move.

    We act like we’re allergic to rest or it’s the girl in high school that has a “great personality” your friend says you just have to meet. Uh… no thanks.

    Sadly, we fill our schedule, so rest doesn’t even have a chance. I’ve mastered this one. I can fill my time to push rest out of even the realm of possibility. Who can question me with my results? (can you say masking?)

    And I’ve paid the price for it. The Energizer Bunny who lost his energy only to finally figure out the Energizer Bunny actually uses rechargeable batteries. Who knew?
  3. JUSTIFY REST AS OPTIONAL

    I can tell myself half-truths all day long on why rest is optional for me. Here are some of my go-to statements then the actual full truth:

    • I have too much to do to rest (which ironically is my choice and I could choose to slow down and the world not end)
    • It’s my current season of life and won’t always be this way (but I’ve made it my way of life, not season of life)
    • I’m fine with what little rest I get right now (yeah, because I don’t know what being fully rested actually feels like)

      The irony is no one seeing our “on stage” sees the mind games we play “back stage” nor would they really care. They may even like us better if we’re rested and not so driven all of the time. Imagine that.

  4. FEAR REST

    But the truth is many High Performers are afraid of slowing down. Whoa. Now you just got personal. I’ve come to the point of realizing just how much of my identity has been deeply found in my ability to produce results. And I can’t produce results if I’m resting, right?But that flawed thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. I can rest; I’ve just not wanted to slow down. Why? I mean, at a heart level, why am I not stopping long enough to truly rest?I was afraid of what I would find if I slowed down. Here is my truth serum of why I feared rest:

    • Would I be replaced?
    • Would I still be needed?
    • Would I like what I found when I slowed down and reflected on what was truly important to me?

      Can you relate to any of those or have you not come to a place of such honesty yet? If not, I hope this post has challenged you in this area.

CONCLUSION

I didn’t know how to slow down, unplug, relax, and truly receive the deep benefits of rest.

It simply came down to this simple revelation for me:
I know I need to but don’t know how to rest.

Not knowing how to truly rest is my secret shame and many of those High Performers I’ve met. This is solvable, productivity fans.

But the first step is accepting the secret shame of a high performer is we don’t know how to rest.

Join me on this journey to own up to it and be willing to make the necessary changes to receive the benefits of rest.

Bryan Paul Buckley is an Energy Performance Expert who helps business professionals and business travelers to leave the Exhaustion Cycle and live in the Energy Cycle. Bryan is also a speaker, coach, and the host of the Energy Edge Podcast. He’s a husband of one and father of five and lives with his tribe in the Chicago land area. You can find out more about Bryan at www.BryanPaulBuckley.com and www.EnergyEdgePodcast.com
Staying healthy while traveling

Staying healthy while traveling

Staying on-point and motivated when you’re traveling or vacationing is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do, this is a precious part of the year when you should be enjoying yourself, relaxing and recouping. That doesn’t have to mean that the health and fitness goals that you’ve spent all year working towards are left behind.

Traveling in itself can be extremely tiring and dehydrating, from the flying to the transfers, to the opportunities to try new foods and activities, it can be a very fun yet fitness-compromising time. Two things that are especially important when you’re traveling are to stay hydrated and well rested. Being tired and thirsty is likely to make you feel hungrier than you really are, not only that you’re more likely to gain weight and feel lethargic, which isn’t a great combination when you’re trying to maintain a level of activity.

The following graphic put together by De Vere Hotels contains 8 simple yet practical things you can do to decrease the effects of travel on your body and remain fit and healthy:

5 Simple Exercises To Keep Fit Anywhere

5 Simple Exercises To Keep Fit Anywhere

Do you want to exercise but feel like you don’t have the necessary workout equipment?
Do you wish to keep fit but find it hard to go to the gym?
Do you want to maintain your figure and toned body but find it hard because you’re constantly traveling?

This is a guest post by Billy Smith

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