Sleep Your Way to the Top
Many of us suffer from constant fatigue and despite our best efforts, we can’t always seem to shake it off. Tiredness seems to be a symptom of our high-achieving, modern, 24-hour lifestyles.
Arianna Huffington uses a great phrase in her TED talk which encapsulates the argument that you cannot perform at your peak if you are tired. The phrase she used was ‘sleep your way to the top’. Tiredness causes us to be irritable, melancholy and to under-perform in our jobs. You cannot perform effectively in any aspect of your life if you are sleep-deprived. So follow these tips to combat tiredness.
You may be getting less sleep than you think so work out how many hours sleep a night you are actually getting. Most people with demanding lives will perform at their peak if they manage 7 – 8 hours a night. Don’t be macho or a martyr about coping with less. More sleeps equals a better performance in all aspects of your life.
Springy or Saggy?
Is your bed comfortable? If you’ve had your bed for more than five years then it could need replacing. You can’t get a good night’s sleep in a bed which is saggy, or where there are springs digging into you. Memory foam, latex or orthopedic beds are exceptionally comfortable and should ensure you don’t wake up with aches and pains or general fatigue.
Stress can cause tiredness because it causes the body to tense up and also can result in a light, restless sleep. Have a soothing bed-time routine which involves a warm bath or shower, followed by half an hour of reading a feel-good book or listening to some soothing music or an audio before you lie down. This help you go into a deeper, more refreshing sleep.
Caffeine and alcohol both disturb your quality of sleep. Try to keep alcohol to weekends only and don’t drink caffeine after your evening meal. If you can’t give up tea or coffee then switch to decaffeinated. An even healthier option would be herbal teas, warm milk, or cocoa which are more likely to help you sleep more peacefully.
Parched and Prostrate
Are you drinking enough in the daytime? Dehydration can often cause tiredness, so next time you feel sleepy and lethargic, try drinking a glass of water. It’s easy when we’re busy to go for hours without a drink, whilst tea and coffee aren’t as effective at quenching your thirst as soft drinks. You may be surprised at how much energy you have after increasing your fluid intake.
Are You Unbalanced?
A poorly balanced diet without enough vitamins will lead to fatigue, so monitor your food intake. If you live on takeaways or are a picky eater then there’s a good chance that you may be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. Garbage in and garbage out, as the saying goes. Improve your diet and your energy levels should soar.
Feel the Burn
Over-exercising can lead to tiredness. Unless you’re training for the Olympics or a marathon don’t overdo your training. A good rule is to have one full day off a week where you do no exercise at all. Also listen to your body, as it will normally give you signals that you’re overdoing it, such as aches and pains and general fatigue.
Sedentary Equals Sluggish
Contrarily, doing no exercise at all tires you too. Whilst it may tax you temporarily, physical activity will give you much more energy in the long term. Busy executives who don’t make time to exercise are depriving themselves of this huge boost of zest and vigour.
Open All Hours
It’s possible that you could be burning the candle at both ends and that this is why you’re tired. Even if you’re squeezing in 7 to 9 hours of sleep, being out all the time can still tire you. We all need some quiet time at home to unwind and peacefully contemplate. If you never get this time to reflect, then the quality of your sleep will suffer and you will feel generally tense and tired.
Being constantly in the loop is a blessing at times, but can be a curse at others. Sometimes, it would be beneficial to switch off all of your technology, including your mobile phone, your blackberry, and your iPad. If you’re constantly checking emails, Twitter and your text messages right up until you fall asleep then you may never be switching off completely. When you relax, you should relax one hundred per cent. So switch everything off and learn how to chill properly.
Sleep is Savvy
Sleep is vital if we want to be high-achievers and reach our goals. Those of us who are juggling two jobs, are working parents, or are combining a demanding job with a great social life need all the energy we can get. We will be happier, more productive and ultimately more successful if we just get more sleep.