It’s 6 in the morning. I just woke up after very short sleep of just six hours.
This means two things for me: I broke some sleep rules yesterday (see end of article), and today is going to be a challenge.
Up until now, I thought my daily performance was kind of random. Some days I felt like working more, some days I felt like working less. But not anymore. There are a lot of factors affecting how well you work, but sleep is the greatest one.
I started tracking my sleep, and the correlation between its quality, and how I feel at work throughout the day is absolutely clear. Even 1 hour less sleep than what I need causes slight lack of concentration, slower thinking, and work is just more painful.
But little sleep causes more profound problems than just lack of concentration. For me, it’s lack of motivation. When I sleep well, 5pm rolls around, I’m ready to knock out another problem, or work a little on a side project.
Not so easy after a poor night of sleep. It’s not that I can’t concentrate. It’s that I don’t want to concentrate. I don’t want to hit gym either, and I don’t want to eat healthy.
Lack of sleep causes me to check Twitter and Instagram more. It causes lack of discipline and it disguises itself as laziness.
How to get better at sleep? Ready the book Why We Sleep. It’s easy to read and intersting. You’ll learn just how much sleep affects your daily performance (and happiness), and you’ll learn how to sleep better. And if you’re like me, you’ll get a little obsessed with sleep — and that’s a good thing too.
Here are a few factors that I can confirm will affect my sleep:
- Schedule. Going to sleep every night at the same time is first time to great sleep, every day. (Easier said than done.)
- Coffee. I stopped drinking it altogether, but sometimes I treat myself. If it’s past 12pm, it affects sleep.
- Stress. You need to have a wind down period before going to bed. Don’t take trouble of the day into bed with you.
- Working out, steps taken. Good workout in the gym will make you sleep like a baby. Likewise, if you just drive everywhere and take little steps, you may sleep poorly. Best workout for your sleep is about 30 minutes a day, every day.
- No workout before bed. Anything that gets your heart pumping just before sleep is bad.