Importance of Sleep

Recent studies have shown that lack of sleep has a huge impact on our ability to perform.  Burning the candle from both ends leads to trouble eventually.  When we are not getting eight hours per night regularly, we suffer from memory loss, short attention span, slow thinking, reduced creativity, irritability and cognitive impairment. It’s not difficult to project the sort of results that we can expect at work.

If we know that during sleep the body sustains the immune system, balances hormones, repairs damage and allows the brain to process and archive information, then we know that we must have it.  But what do we do when we find ourselves wide-eyed and brain whirling when we should be sleeping?  One technique that I have found useful is to do a brain dump.  Get up and make a list of every single thing that I know I need to get done.  The affect of this is that I now know nothing will slip through the cracks and be forgotten and I can relax.

Being unable to sleep often points to lifestyle choices we have made. Ask yourself, “Was it worth it?” Occasionally the answer will be ‘yes’; and in this case just get up and read for a while and live with the consequences the next day.  But if sleeplessness becomes a regular occurrence, some major changes are in order.

iStock_journalingMake a list of your routines from about 6:00 pm onward and choose the most obvious lifestyle change to make.  Then monitor the results you get.  One general principle is that our body and mind must be ready for rest and be in a relaxed state.iStock_meditation

Meditation, relaxation tapes, journalling – each have some value.  If none of these have any affect, then it’s time to seek professional help.

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