Updated January 6th, 2022
Did you know how you go to bed at night will influence just how productive you are the next day?
Invariably a night of tossing and turning makes you lethargic at work the next day. Even when you think you’ve had enough sleep and the right kind of sleep, you could be mistaken.
The right kind of sleep that leaves you rested is the deep REM sleep. But things like worry and stress keep you from reaching REM.
And then, typically what little benefit you did have from the sleep you got, is stripped away by the way that you rush around trying to get a handle on the day come morning.
1. Start with letting go of the day properly. Being able to look back and acknowledge that you’ve accomplished things in the day goes a long way toward helping you to shut down your mind come bedtime.
Typically worrying about what was left undone and whatever perceived failure of the day will keep you from solid rest. That’s why it’s so important to let go.
2. List what you need to do tomorrow. This exercise is part of that “letting go” process. By relegating the unfinished business to your To-Do list, you’re forcing it out of your mind and into tomorrow – where it belongs.
3. Give yourself time to wind down. Studies show that we need two hours to clear our heads so that we’re ready for sleep. That means no work and nothing that’s going to engage you profoundly before bed.
What that means is going to vary from person to person. For some, watching TV before bed is how they turn their minds off and gear it toward sleep.
Others will find their brains become more actively engaged by TV and will need to do something else (like read a book) before bed. Whatever is right for you, take the time you need so you don’t compromise your ability to get that REM sleep.
4. Optimize your sleep environment. Now that you’ve dealt with clearing your head, how about your space?
The ideal environment for sleep is absolute dark and a space cool enough to sleep comfortably. Make sure that you’re not using your bedroom as a workspace as doing so keeps your mind keyed up and focused on other things when you’re trying to retire for the night.
Establishing a solid sleep routine is essential for proper rest. With only a small amount of preparation, you’ll sleep better, making for a more productive tomorrow.