Sleep quality has one of the biggest influences on people’s abilities to perform at their best. Is sleep one of the areas you have struggled with in the past or are struggling with now? Are you struggling to get to sleep? Are you struggling to stay asleep at night? Are you still feeling knackered in the morning?
If any of these describe you or an experience you are having, have a go at exploring George Anderson’s three top tips on how to improve sleep quality or quantity and make some changes or tweaks to see if they have any impact. As busy business leaders, you are undoubtedly thrown many obstacles your way each day (both personally and professionally) – the best night’s sleep will help you to attend to any challenges and emergencies waiting for you the next day.
1. Alcohol consumption
Although alcohol may make you feel drowsy, or help you to drift off to sleep, it does disrupt the way that the brainwaves function and change through the course of the night. This could affect the quality of your sleep, even if the quantity seems like a decent amount.
Try and reduce your alcohol consumption. If you normally drink regularly, perhaps try and have a couple of nights not drinking and notice what a difference that makes to how well you sleep.
2. Caffeine consumption
‘Which?’ recently discovered that some high street coffees have up to 5 times more caffeine in them than others. We don’t always know how much caffeine is in the drinks we are consuming. What we do know about caffeine is that it will massively disrupt your sleep. It has a half-life of 8-12 hours which means it is in your system a long time after consuming it. If you are struggling with sleep and are consuming any amount of caffeine, have a go at exploring just how much you’re consuming and see if it improves your sleeping habits.
3. Screen time
How are you using your devices in the 30-60 minutes before you try and go to sleep?
Lying in bed scrolling through your emails, LinkedIn or Instagram, is probably not the best way to put you into the state that is going to give you a nice, good-quality night’s sleep.
We know that the blue light emitting from screens on devices will disrupt the release of melatonin, one of the primary sleep hormones. The stimulation that you are getting from the things you are looking at on your screens, work or personal, is not the best way to help you get the quality night’s sleep you are hoping for. A good night’s sleep will better prepare you for the challenges to come the next day a lot more than checking that email or getting ahead with work right before you are going to try and get to sleep.
Consider a screen curfew, trying not to use them 30-60 minutes before bed, and see how that affects your sleep quality and quantity.