In today’s fast-paced and hectic world, we seem to be accepting a certain amount of sleep loss as part and parcel of the modern executive lifestyle. To some, sleeplessness is a badge of honour, a bleary-eyed battle-scar as demonstration of their commitment to their career ambitions. But while it might seem like you are driving your career forward, the effects of sleep loss may well end up holding you back.
The effects of sleep loss can be severe, leading to chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But in the short term it can also affect your performance in the workplace through lack of concentration, low mood and general lethargy. If you are suffering from the effects of sleep loss, there are a few tips you can follow in order to keep running at your best until you can get home and get a good night’s sleep.
When tired from a lack of sleep, it’s tempting to remain at your desk in order to conserve the little energy you do have. However, your body responds to this inactivity by starting to shut down, making you feel even more drowsy. Short bursts of activity, on the other hand, will release hormones which awaken the brain and cause a short term energy boost, keeping you awake. Taking a break for a short, brisk walk or even finding somewhere quiet for a few press-ups or sit-ups will work wonders.
Set Small Goals
When you’re tired, that mammoth to-do list you have written can seem insurmountable, further amplifying the perceived impact of sleep loss. To overcome this, set small, achievable goals and take a short break at the end of each task. This will give you a sense of confidence and accomplishment that will help drive you through the rest of the day.
When you’re sleep deprived, coffee feels like a lifeline. But any short term stimulant effects are balanced out with longer term sleep loss as we become more dependent on caffeine and find it even more difficult to sleep at night as a result. Caffeine also causes dehydration which will further enhance the impact of sleep loss. The healthier option is to combine a glass of water with a short exercise break away from your screen. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and energised and ready to tick off the next item on your list.
Eat a Healthy Lunch
Again, when we’re tired, it’s all too tempting to head to the bakery and pick up some comfort food, particularly if we’re experiencing low mood as a result of sleep loss. However, heavy, stodgy food is more difficult to digest and has the effect of making us feel even more sluggish and groggy. Instead, try and stick to the healthy option – salads and fruits that are high in energy, such as bananas and avocados.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i)
CBT-i is recommended by the NHS as the most effective way to combat the effects of sleeplessness and get a good night’s sleep. Here at The Insomnia Clinic we offer a CBT-i programme will teach you a set of skills that will help you overcome the bad habits that lead to sleep loss and help you regain control of your body clock in order to establish healthier sleep patterns. Click here to find out more about CBT-i for insomnia.
While a certain amount of occasional sleep loss is normal, more frequent, long term occurrences can have serious health implications. But it’s important to remember that you are not alone and that help is available. Talk to The Insomnia Clinic today and find out how we can help you take back control of your sleep.