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April 17, 2014

Sleep for Optimal Health

Business

Jeff Cochran

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Are you allowing yourself enough time to recharge each night? You cannot give your business 100% if you are sluggish and running on caffeine. While getting proper sleep can be difficult, there are many strategies that can help you stay energized throughout the day. You can rest better, for instance, by maintaining a sleep routine and restricting certain substances before bed. Life requires you to be at your best, and with this information, you will be able to get a restful night’s sleep, ensuring better health and business success.

Sticking to Your Sleep Routine 

Sticking to a sleep schedule is vital because it helps your body regulate your sleep cycle, in turn promoting higher quality sleep. However, sticking to this routine can be a challenge to those who travel frequently. Unfortunately, studies show that even losing a few hours of sleep, combined with traveling for business, significantly decreases your level of performance. Those who travel for business believe they perform 20% better than they actually do.

How can you ensure that you get proper rest when traveling? Michael Breus, also known as The Sleep Doctor, has a few suggestions. He recommends getting a window seat and avoiding seats near the bulkhead, galley, bathroom, or exit rows. He also suggests that you drink plenty of water, avoid taking red-eye flights, and steer clear of in-flight alcohol.

Restricting Food & Substances Before Bed

  • Food: You shouldn’t go to bed hungry, but you also shouldn’t eat a heavy meal right before bed. This can keep you awake.
  • Caffeine: Cutting out caffeine entirely can do wonders for your sleep. Caffeine takes up to 8 hours to leave your system, which means that afternoon cup of coffee may be disrupting your sleep schedule.
  • Alcohol: While alcohol can help you fall asleep, it also detracts from the quality of your sleep and may cause you to wake in the middle of the night.
  • Nicotine: Nicotine is a stimulant, which means its effects are similar to caffeine’s. Smoking before bed can prevent you from falling asleep or cause you to wake in the middle of the night.

Preparing for Sleep

By properly preparing your bedroom and sticking to the same nighttime rituals, you can further enhance the quality of your sleep. Ensure that your bedroom is conducive to sleep – it should be dark, quiet, and cool. Additionally, keep the temperature in your room between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures that are too high or too low can disrupt your sleep cycle. Furthermore, have a mattress and pillow that meet your standards of comfort.

In addition to preparing your bedroom, get ready for sleep by going through the same rituals each night. Whether you like to shower, read, or listen to music, make your ritual relaxing. Avoid watching TV or using electronic devices in bed or right before bedtime.

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