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Sleep as Hard as You Work: Better Sleep for Better Productivity at Work and School

by Bill Welles

If you find yourself dozing off during meetings or excessively yawning at your desk during class, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that sleepiness will drastically affect your focus and work performance. When you don’t get enough sleep and wake up feeling groggy, your mind is not as sharp and won’t process important information as quickly. Whether you’re spilling your cup of coffee before giving a big presentation or you’re stumbling to pick up your backpack and get out the door, odds are, someone will be quick to ask, “did you get enough sleep?”

As irritating as this question can be, (especially on a Monday morning) everyone knows the importance of a good night’s sleep for our alertness and productivity; yet, we all try to cram in more productivity and less sleep. This way of thinking is contradictory; the solution is to get better sleep for greater work performance. Whether you’ve got 30 years on the job or you’re anxiously waiting for the bell to ring so you can sprint out to recess, proper sleep is a necessity at any age.

Better Sleep for School

Let’s start with school. Oh, those were better times—P.E. class, a fresh eraser, a brand new Trapper Keeper, that was the life. You also would have enjoyed school much more if you were getting enough sleep. No matter if you’re trying to put little ones to bed early or wake up grumpy teenagers so they don’t miss the bus, a bedtime battle shouldn’t feel like trench warfare. All kids need to recognize that a healthy night’s sleep can drastically improve academic performance.

To thrive academically, kids of all ages and school levels need the right amount of energy and retention skills to become creative, attentive students and problem solvers. Part of being able to concentrate in school is being able to process emotions and control sporadic impulses to match the learning environment. Behavior is a key factor in determining academic success, and that trait depends heavily on a consistent sleep schedule. 

Excessive tiredness can often be reflected as a behavioral or learning disability, but children who appear sleepier during the day or fall behind in their schoolwork are more likely to experience difficulties with attention, comprehension, and behavior. 

Improved Performance

If you hope to encourage healthier sleep habits and a proper schedule to stay motivated during the day, follow these tips to achieve better sleep for school. 

  • Eat a balanced meal on a set schedule each day. Getting in the rhythm of eating at the same time each day will help ease the transition to going to sleep at the same time each night. It’s all about repetition and creating good habits to be able to unwind naturally and comfortably each night. 
  • Speaking of going to bed each night—find a consistent bedtime. If you create a bedtime routine on school nights, this helps to adjust the body to feel tired and ready for sleep by the set bedtime. Try reading, drawing, listening to music; anything to help relax at nighttime will improve your sleep. 
  • If you need better sleep for school, make sure you’re allowing for at least 8 hours of quality slumber. This number can be a little higher or a little lower depending on your activity level, but a full 8 hours is generally the rule of thumb. Waking up before school with a full amount of sleep will leave any student feeling fully refreshed and ready for homeroom.
  • The biggest deterrent of proper sleep is the many distractions from electronic devices, light, and outside noise. Falling asleep in front of the TV screen might help you feel relaxed, but the glare associated with any electronic device inhibits your body’s natural ability to achieve quality rest and reach the deepest level of sleep. The blue light simulates daylight, which alerts your brain that it’s time to wake up for the day ahead even if you just got tucked into bed. Therefore, a dark bedroom that is calm and peaceful is the best environment to sleep in. 
  • If it wasn’t obvious already—get the right mattress! We have an entire collection of premium mattresses in various sizes, foundations, and comfort levels. Do you like gel foam, extra plush, hybrid? If you select a sleeping surface that is designed for your exact needs and comfort levels, your child might actually look forward to going to bed, and even better; going to school. 

Better Sleep for Work

And for the parents or adults in the room, it’s equally important for you to take part in a healthy sleep schedule to prepare for work each day. Especially if you’re dropping off the kids at school along the way, you’re going to need the extra rest to get through the chaos in the morning. 

Getting proper rest before work will help you recover from distractions much faster. If you’re sleep-deprived and fighting to get through the day, you’ll have a harder time focusing on your work after distractions from phone calls, meetings, or Jim in accounting who won’t leave you alone. Feeling refreshed will make it easier to get through the “Chatty Cathy’s” in your office without letting your work and productivity take a hit. 

Sitting in traffic each morning and evening and working a full 40-hour week in-between can be quite cumbersome, and if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’ll feel burnt out much faster. If you sleep less than 6 hours each night, that’s an easy indicator that you might be feeling burnt out in your profession. If you want to feel more encouraged on the job, create better snoozing habits to increase your satisfaction at work each day. 

Feeling well-rested for work will help enhance your decision-making skills, too. Proper sleep improves your ability to make accurate and precise decisions when under pressure. Sometimes those will be decisions to close a large sale with clients, and sometimes they will be as difficult as deciding where to go for lunch. Regardless, when an answer needs to be made, you’ll be alert and ready to come to a decision.  

As much as our bodies need sleep, our minds need it even more. Sleeping will help improve your memory and cement what you’ve learned and experienced throughout each day. If you’re sleep-deprived, you might not have a high working memory compared to those who caught plenty of zzz’s the night before. Sleep will also help you to reduce errors and mistakes on the job. Your response time will be faster, and you will be more accurate and consistent when performing daily tasks. 

Sleep is one of the best solutions for staying alert, motivated, and engaged while at work or school. If you find yourself feeling drowsy during the day, this is why catnaps were invented. Sleeping on the job doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Be sure to give us a call or stop by our store to select the best mattress and sleep accessories to fit your needs. Don’t gamble when it comes to your sleep—take the sure thing and visit us today.