Staying Awake ...
Longer workdays, additional stress from balancing expanded work/life commitments, and insomnia rates increasing from 16% to 25% or higher, mean many of us are struggling to stay awake – even with extra caffeine. A recent BBC World article suggests it’s time to rethink the purpose of sleep, and how to meet our body and brain’s needs. Did you know:
Sleep resets the brain - Research shows that sleep deprivation leaves the same metabolic waste and toxins in our brain as late life dementia (ouch!) The more we reduce that ideal 7-9 hours, the less accurately we judge the effect on our performance.
Sleep hygiene (or removing the elements that prevent deep sleep) includes - cooler temps (below 70F); eliminating blue light from TV, digital devices & clocks which keep us alert; switching phone alerts off at night to reduce disruptions in sleep cycles; and not pairing work and bed to help your brain know when to unplug.
Strategic naps – Less than 20 mins, and best taken at lunch (if naps are a fireable offense at your company) or during the early afternoon slump. Warning: napping longer than 20 mins leads into deeper sleep cycles and can leave you groggy.
Responsibility-free breaks – staying hyper focused can be draining (ask air traffic controllers...even zoomers), so consider taking a break every 2 hours to let the brain reset.
Light levels – if you are working before or after sunrise/sunset, use UV lighting to mimic daylight hours
Stretch breaks – standing and stretching gets the blood moving, or hold a walking meeting since changing environments is known to improve collaboration and creativity.