In this chapter, the author, Chris Bailey, explains that the more quality sleep we get, the more quality energy (and potential productivity) we will have. He explains that lack of sleep affects such things as our mood, ability to focus, memory and reasoning skills. He states that he believes through his study that “for every hour of sleep I missed out on, I lost two hours of productivity”.
The author discusses that when he tried to wake up earlier every day in order to increase his productivity (for him it was 5:30), he realized it wasn’t how early he got up that helped him be more productive. He realized what mattered was what time he went to bed. He explains that his sleeping late wasn’t the key to getting enough sleep, it was his getting to bed earlier and getting more quality sleep that made a difference. He offers the following suggestions:
Create a nighttime ritual. This should help you be more intentional about getting to bed.
Expose yourself to less blue light. He explains that electronics have a blue wavelength that inhibit our ability to sleep. Turn off your electronics a few hours before going to bed, use an app that color-shifts your screen display or even try some blue-blocking glasses. Expose yourself to more natural light during the day.
Don’t be afraid to nap. He discusses that napping can help productivity. He mentions taking a nap at work if you have the freedom to do so. (Come on now….seriously? It’s even hard for me to type that in this blog. Why would he even say that out loud?)
Stop drinking caffeine eight to fourteen hours before you sleep. Caffeine can interfere with your sleep and productivity the next day if you consume it too late in the day.
Think of your bedroom as a cave. It should be calm and comfortable.
In the end, he expresses it doesn’t matter what time you wake, it matters how much sleep you get. So go to bed earlier and get up earlier. Or, I guess, maybe keep going to bed late if you can sleep late. Whatever works for you as long as you get enough hours of quality sleep each night.
So, after reading this chapter, what changes do I think are reasonable for me to make to get more sleep? I don’t use the computer or cell screen at night or drink evening coffee so maybe I can start a bedtime ritual. Not going to nap at work. Maybe I can start a bedtime ritual by getting into my lounge pants at a certain time every night to signal bed time is coming.
Maybe I can set “office hours” at my house where my family cannot expect me to help them after a certain time. No requests to wash the dirty uniform that you forgot to put in the hamper after 8:00. No help with building that wigwam house out of wooden sticks for your last minute social studies project if I am already in my lounge pants.