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Optimise your body for a better life and career

24-03-2014

Optimise your body for a better life and career

You want to get ahead, you want to climb the corporate ladder, you want to succeed. However, for most of us there is a huge trade off between career success and our sleep health. To really make an impact in your job you will need to work long hours, especially in your first decade or so when you need to prove yourself. While some people are willing to simply axe their social life altogether during these years, most are not and this means that something has to give. This means that chances are you will not be getting enough sleep, this means that you will be waking early and going to bed late.

Sleep deprivation is a big problem in the modern world, we sleep less than we did a hundred years ago, with more people reportedly suffering from exhaustion every year. Our work-life schedules grow more demanding and as they do not only do the actual hours we have left in the day to sleep decrease but the stress levels increase, which in turn has an impact on how much sleep we get. All this means that if you want to still put in the long hours at work and still have a life, you will not be getting enough sleep... ever.

The reality is that if you want to succeed in your career, you cannot neglect sleep. In the past sleep was seen as a way of recharging our batteries, but as we have learnt more about sleep we have come to see that it fulfils a huge array of vital physical and mental tasks, from memory storage through to emotional stability, from cognitive performance through to appetite suppression. If you want to get ahead, if you want to climb the corporate ladder, if you want to succeed then you need to sleep well, it really is that simple. So what can you do? Here are some ways you can optimise your life so that you can sleep and succeed.

Keep to a schedule
One of the big problems with big workers is that they keep irregular hours, some nights you might be in the office past midnight, others you are home by seven. The reality is that one of the worst things that you can do is to sleep irregular hours. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every day. This helps your body clock and means that you will fall asleep faster.

Don't sleep in during the weekend
Closely related to this, do not sleep in during the weekend as it will only make it harder to get up on Monday. If you need to catch up on a sleep debt then you need to have a power nap instead. Make sure that you nap for 30 minutes or less as this is the optimal time for a nap.

Create a way of distancing yourself from stress
Most career focused people struggle to get to sleep at night as they have so much on their mind, they are thinking about what happened that day and what they need to do the next. Find something that helps distance you from this, whether it is reading in bed, listening to peaceful music, doing yoga, meditating or anything else.


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