It might be obvious to say, but sleep is really important. No, really. It’s really important. We all know that it is important to get a good night’s sleep, yet most of us do not get adequate sleep at night. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night. This, by the way, does not count the minutes/hours spent lying in bed awake, reading, thinking about your day, making to-do lists, etc. I have often had the thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I only needed an hour of sleep a night? I could be so productive!” This mentality frames sleep as a barrier to productivity. The reality is, adequate sleep is what allows us to be productive in the first place.
If you have ever doubted the importance of sleep, and how influential good sleep is to our mental and emotional well-being, I encourage you to see how productive you are after getting an hour or two of sleep one night and refraining from any caffeine the next day. You would be as useful as a wet sofa on the curbside. Inadequate sleep impacts your memory, your concentration, your mental processing speed, all of your emotions, your coordination, reaction time, and the list goes on. Staying up all night to get a project done means a finished project full of mistakes and generally of a poorer quality.
To be the most productive person you can be:
- Schedule your sleep as if it was the most important meeting of your day. Treat it as essential, because it is.
- Practice good sleep hygiene.
- Practice letting go of the idea that you can (and must) do everything. This frees you to up to sleep better.
I hope you have a great night’s sleep.
Shawn Healy, PhD