Let’s talk for a minute about the “s” word – sleep? I remember a time when I’d just gotten back from a fabulous vacation with my husband. We spent three glorious days in New York City. It was some much needed time away from our kids. We lived life to its fullest while on vacation. And, unfortunately I didn’t come home feeling well rested at all.
The minute our plane landed I hit the ground running to prepare for a work interview, a new coaching group that I was starting up, editing my upcoming book, and organizing a birthday bash in my backyard for my daughters – complete with 85 guests, a jumpy house and Dorothy and Toto direct from Oz.
I was actually just as excited about all the things I had going on in my work life as I was about my New York trip, which was great. The bad part was that I stayed up way too late night after night working when I could have been sleeping.
Here’s what I started to notice in my life and body after a few days of staying up way too late. It got harder and harder to wake up in the morning. The sound of the girls fighting over who got to sit on the tall stool sounded like nails on a chalk board. I wanted to eat a chocolate brownie for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) for the sugar rush. The world around me seemed foggy. My body craved a nap from the moment I got up in the morning.
When I do get enough sleep I wake up excited for the day and feel really alive. I am strong and clear headed. I don’t crave sugar or junk food. I am more focused when I work. I smile and laugh a lot and I enjoy time with my kids and my husband. I’m energetic and just more fun to around.
Needless to say, I let my sleep patterns get way out of hand. I quickly realized I had to make some changes. I didn’t want to keep living a half-awake life. I committed to some solid, sleep-care even with a to-do list a mile long. And, you know what. I actually got it all done, had more focus and enjoyed my life more.
So, join me, this month, in exploring how your sleep choices and habits affect your life.
5 Steps to Sleep Your Way to A Better Work Life
1. Notice what it is like for you in your life and body when you get enough sleep.
2. What’s it like when you don’t get enough sleep? What does it cost you?
3. Ask yourself what time you want to go to bed each night. Try on some different times and notice the response in your body. Commit to a bedtime and/or bedtime routine, for this month, that will support you in getting the sleep you want
4. Consider what is possible for you if you do get the sleep you want this month. How will you be more productive?
Illustration by Jordan Awan