stress and sleep

Reduce Stress, not Sleep

I want to sleep but my brain won’t stop talking to itself


re you one of the many project or program managers who has so much on their plate that stress is taking over your life? While getting regular sleep may seem laughable, if you are serious about reducing your stress, you should not be reducing your sleep.

How Important is a Consistent Sleep Schedule?

As a project or program manager, you already have to juggle a busy schedule for yourself and the business you are a part of. However, this talent of being able to thrive with a busy and ever changing schedule does not always transfer to your sleep habits. One of the most important things you can do for your stress levels is to maintain a good sleeping schedule. Why? Because the more nights of quality sleep you achieve, the lower your stress levels will be over time.
We already know how vital sleep is to our overall health. It’s a fact of life that we need sleep for our minds and bodies to recharge and function properly. Yet, ensuring that you get the proper sleep each night will be beneficial to your day to day working life as well. According to the American Psychological Association, if you do not get enough sleep, the lack of sleep will directly affect your mood, memory function, as well as your productivity.
No matter what projects you have on your plate, the last thing you need is to be forgetful, grumpy, and unproductive. That’s just bad for business.

What Can I Do to Improve My Sleep?

Taking on that leadership role each and every day, you will need to be fully focused and ready to overcome the challenges that will be presented to you. That being said, learning how to maintain a proper sleeping schedule and getting quality sleep will be detrimental to your business life.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy sleeping habits, also referred to as good sleep hygiene, will create a huge difference in the quality of your life. Instead of staying up late each and every night worrying about the work you need to do or even working into the wee hours of the night, try to use the following tips to improve your sleep.

Maintain a Sleep Schedule

First and foremost, make a sleep schedule and stick to it! It can take about two weeks before this schedule becomes a habit, so it is crucial at the beginning of this resolution to really make an effort to stick to it. Set a time in the evening for a ‘winding down’ time. Put away your phones and laptops and avoid the television as well. Not only will the reduction of the blue lights put off by the electronics allow your brain to realize that bedtime is nearing, but you won’t have the distractions keeping you awake.
Once you have set the ‘winding down’ time, you should plan to be ready for bed within an hour or so. Regulating your body’s clock will help you to fall asleep and stay asleep each night. In addition, you should also make a habit of waking up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. This way, you don’t throw off your sleeping schedule.

Create Ideal Temperature

Another great tip would be to evaluate your bedroom. Make sure that you have a cool temperature- 60 to 67 degrees are best for sleeping. You should also ensure that your bedroom is free from noise and light. Consider adding things such as blackout curtains, ear plugs, eye masks, or even a white noise machine to help you avoid distractions or things that could wake you during the night.

Invest in a Comfortable Bed and Pillow

Sleeping on a comfortable bed and pillows will also help you to get to sleep. A supportive mattress and comfortable pillows that are ideal for your body and the way you sleep will make a difference. If you toss and turn at night, take a look at improving your bed.

The Final Word

Once you have made the adjustments needed to help you get to sleep and you can stick to a proper sleeping schedule, you will wake up each morning feeling rejuvenated. Over time, you will notice your stress levels dropping and your productivity increasing and you will be ready to face the day, your projects and your team with a fresh mind and attitude.
What techniques do you use to help you get to sleep?

Sarah knows that coffee is not just a pick-me-up. It’s so much more than that, which is why she started We Dream of Coffee – where people can learn more about her favorite drink


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