Get Gutsy...Wake Up and Go to Sleep!
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?"
I never imagined I would be writing on the topic of sleep, but I know what the impact is of not getting enough of it on my ability to think, act, and react. It's not good. I also know how getting enough sleep makes me feel ready, confident, and capable. I prefer getting enough sleep.Most importantly, as Hemingway implies in the above quote, sleep allows me to get away from it all.
Photography: RikkiSnyder.comI was surprised to hear that one-third of us have bad sleep habits. I really thought this number would be higher. I guess I just move around in a community that is very stressed as this is one of the greatest causes of bad sleep and so many people complain about being stressed lately. Other bad sleep habits include irregular sleep times, caffeine, having your technology in bed, watching TV in bed, and your environment and physical factors, to name a few.
“The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.”
At a recent Neuroscience of Leadership conference, I listened to Dr. Jessica Payne speak about the importance of sleep. Here are my take-aways of the impact of getting a good night’s sleep:
• Sleep needs to vary from 4-12 hours; you must find your own healthy length of sleep.• The sleeping brain is highly active in ways that only occur during sleep.
• Sleep improves our memory.
• Our creative cognition is improved with a good night’s sleep.
• Sleep helps our brain in its capabilities to make connections.
• Sleep develops our insight; that’s why some people get their best ideas upon awakening.
• Sleep helps us regulate our emotions.
• If we are sleep deprived we more easily remember negative information and not positive or neutral information.
If you are still tired on a solid night of rest, you need to take a look at how you’re snoozing. Ask yourself these questions.
Sleeping Beauty by rubyblossomThe best news from Dr. Payne's lecture is that napping 20-30 minutes (but no longer than 40 minutes), is as good as a whole night’s sleep. Even a seven-minute nap is good.
I think as leaders, it is our responsibility to turn our environments into nap-friendly environments for both our and our organization’s benefit.
It’s the right thing to do.
“Sleep is the best meditation.”
Share your sleeping well tips in the comments below.