When impaired, don’t operate heavy machinery. When tired, you don’t operate—period! Well, you probably won’t feel like doing much, anyway. Nor will you give your best effort.
You get the gist.
Brain fog from lack of sleep is a serious epidemic. Disorders, illness, stress, anxiety, depression, technology, life changes, and transitions all negatively impact sleep. You’re less sharp, more likely to feel stressed and distracted, and what little concentration and energy you do have is channeled toward surviving. Not a great way to live.
According to the ’re a caregiver, student, or professional, or living being, you operate best with rest. Eating nourishes your body with fuel. Sleeping energizes the body with rest. When you’re sleeping you’re recharging your body, like a battery. Both are required to function at your best and survive. Obvious, right? When you lack fuel and energy, your functioning wanes and eventually you’re drained. But that’s not all. Lack of a good night rest (7-8 hours) may heighten your anxiety and depression, not to mention bring on the mood swings. You may also find yourself eating more to help fuel the lack of energy. Yup, it’s an unhealthy spiral., adults should get seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. When you
You need rest. But how do you get it each night?
It’s not always possible to get the required rest that not only keeps you going, but has a direct, and positive, impact on your mood, health, productivity, and yes, creativity. The good news is if you are struggling to get the rest required, there are hacks and changes you can make until you’re able to get back into a rhythm of a restful pattern.
Before we get to the expert advice, don’t dismiss naps.
Naps don’t mean you’re lazy, nor are they only reserved for elementary school children. Napping at work is becoming more common and socially acceptable and if you have a flexible schedule, you may be able to sneak one in to survive the day.
If you’re a writer or reader, you probably know that Stephen King is a devotee of the afternoon nap. Probably because he writes late into the night. I’m also a fan of naps, not that I’m in the same league with the famed writer. But my reasons differ. First, I don’t sleep well. I find that I have pockets during the night when I am restless, and my mind is whirling. Perhaps, you too? I did talk to several physicians about this, and they agree it’s normal process as you age. Insult aside, I guess it’s my new reality. But they, along with a dietician recommended strongly not to get up and get active during those pockets because that can really throw of your circadian rhythm. Well, okay then. So, I continue to lay wondering about why I’m awake until I fall back to sleep. I’m a pretty good trooper most days but some days I just need a micro-nap (15-20 minutes) to focus and be creative. Oh, and I’m housebreaking two new puppies. So, there’s that.
Now let’s get to the well-researched advice. In addition to talking to one’s physician, there are plenty of books written by experts. I’ve collated a list of wonderful books below that not only help you discover strategies to increase your rest but assist you with removing the obstacles that are standing in your way.
Here’s my six picks to Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest. And don’t forget to add your recommendations below.
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang.
The Mindful Way to a Good Night’s Sleep: Discover How to Use Dreamwork, Meditation, and
Journaling to Sleep Deeply and Wake Up Well by Tzivia Gove.
The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep (Harvard Medical School Guides) by Lawrence Epstein and Steven Mardon.
365 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep by Ronald Kotler and Maryann Karinch.
How to Sleep Well: The Science of Sleeping Smarter, Living Better and Being Productive by Neil Stanley.
Hello Sleep: The Science and Art of Overcoming Insomnia Without Medications by Jade Wu, Ph.D.
Images Courtesy of Storey Publishing – Hatchette Book Group and St. Martin’s Essentials.