Sleeping Enough: Self-awareness is a Competitive Advantage
Published by Tony Schwartz for The Energy Project on March 19, 2014. Creative Commons Licensing.
There is no single behavior that more fundamentally influences our effectiveness in waking life. The idea that sleeping less allows us to get more done is pervasive in our culture, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Research shows that 97.5% of us need at least 7 hours of sleep to be at our best, but the average American is getting just around 6 hours.
If you currently are not sleeping enough, at least 7 hours each night, look at what you need to do to make that a reality, and then start pushing your bedtime earlier by 15 minutes until it becomes natural.
1. Are you sleeping enough hours and waking up feeling energized? Become more aware of your sleep habits by spend a week using this log to record when you go to bed each night, when you wake up, the number of hours you sleep, and whether or not you are waking up fully rested.
2. Especially in periods of high demand, try to find time for a 10 or 20-minute catnap in the middle of the day on weekdays. Taking a short nap between 1 and 3 p.m., especially on days when you’ve worked intensely in the morning, will have a remarkable impact on your ability to focus later in the afternoon. Alternatively, simply lean back in your chair with your eyes closed for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Are you a Jawbone UP band user who drinks caffeine regularly and struggles with sleep? The UP Coffee app will integrate with your UP app to help you track your behaviors and recognize whether your choice of drinks is having an effect on your ability to sleep. Not an UP band user? The app is available free, and you can still track your caffeine intake and gain useful insights.