6 Ways to Improve Sleep and Become More Productive in the Workplace

Everyone sleeps, but not everyone gets enough of it. In fact, according to a study by The Rand Corporation, the U.S. loses up to $411 billion a year because of a sleep-deprived workforce. The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends we get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. We’ve included some restful tips for you to ensure you and your employees are as happy, healthy and as rested as can be.

  1. Create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, dark, quiet and free from distractions. Try to use your bedroom only as a place of rest. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, try doing a calming activity until you feel sleepy (reading, listening to soft music, writing in a journal).
  2. Control your exposure to light. Refrain from using any electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers, or iPads, for at least one hour before sleep. The blue light emitted by these electronic devices is disruptive and can take you out of a restful state.
  3. Watch what you eat and drink. Avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day, and avoid nicotine completely. Avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime. Try not to drink too many liquids before bedtime to reduce frequent bathroom trips throughout the night.
  4. Maintain a consistent sleep rhythm. Go to sleep at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each morning. Try to avoid sleeping late on weekends; it can disrupt your cycle during the weekday. If you sleep in, try to make it no later than two hours.
  5. Time your exercise. Because exercise speeds up your metabolism, elevates body temperature, and stimulates hormones, it can interfere with your sleep cycle. Regular exercise at the right time will make you feel less sleepy during the day and sleepier at night. Try avoiding exercise two to three hours before bedtime.
  6. Avoid naps after 3 p.m. If you find yourself getting sleepy before bedtime, try to do an activity that’s mildly stimulating, such as washing the dishes or getting your clothes ready for the next day.