Sleep for success!

As I’m fitting in a ton of work sandwiched between the end of  Reunion Homecoming at Stanford, hiring a new employee and getting ready to head out on vacation in less than 48 hours, I thought sleep was an appropriate topic for my next post. I’m actually living in an overworked household, with my partner on call for servers or fixing bugs late into the night.

Although we’re both smart people that understand 7-9 hours of sleep a night make you happier, more productive, focused and energized throughout the day, it can be a difficult behavior to reinforce.

I took a sleep webinar class through Stanford in the spring, and one of the activities we had to do was keep a log each day:

  • how many hours of sleep
  • how many times did you wake up at night?
  • when did you take your our last caffeinated drink?
  • how late are you exercising?
  • what else are you doing in bed aside from sleeping (reading, phone, etc)?
  • how well rested do you feel on a scale of 1-10?
I’d have to say that if you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, keeping a regular log makes you feel like someone’s watching you. Inherently, you want to get good scores, so you make sure to have your last caffeinated beverage before 2pm and you shoot for 7.5 hours of sleep per night. The whole exercise of it at least allows you to see patterns in your own behavior that might influence your rest. It’s worth doing!

Napping is also highly important; some days, you just need it. Reunion Homecoming was tough for me this year since I was coming off of a cold and pretty tired in general. On my busiest day, I had a break in the middle of the afternoon and laid down for about 17 minutes. I can’t tell you how rejuvenating it was to get some guiltless shuteye! Take one yourself and check out some more tips on The Science of a Perfect Nap from Lifehacker.

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