Listed below is an older post that I posted a number of years ago on a blog that I once had. It was such a popular post and struck such a nerve that I have decided to repost it here.
Why do I make such a big deal about getting enough sleep? Especially as a PFYP Career Coach? Because I see people all the time, who are driven to start a new business or finally discover their life’s calling or purpose, that it becomes a round-the-clock ordeal. They work themselves into oblivion until they collapse from mere exhaustion. When you are running on exhaustion, how creative are you? When you are running on exhaustion, how innovative are you?
This is why I was so blessed to see Arlene Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, speak out about what she considers to be one of the secrets to her success—sleep. She needs a full eight hours and makes it a priority to get that much. In the July 19, 2015 issue of Parade Magazine, Ms. Huffington even gives 6 tips for getting more sleep. But I will let you all google that one. That is your homework.
Without further ado, here is MY article from 2012 from my previous work-at-home blog, VA Biz Connection. Feel free to comment.
Are you constantly tired?
Are you overwhelmed with too much to do?
Are you struggling to find the right balance between work and family?
Well, then you are not alone. Even when working from home, you will find that you never get it all done. No matter how hard you try, there is always something to do in your work, in your family or in your personal life.
Why Lack of Sleep is One of the Biggest Complaints
Probably one of the biggest complaints for those individuals working from home is not getting enough rest. Why? Because it is so easy to feel that because you work at home, you should be able to get it all done. I mean, you are there all day, right? Wrong.
You may be there all day, but you are working to earn an income. If you were at a typical 9-to-5 job, you would not be cooking and working at the same time. You would also not have your children in your office launching paper airplanes at your boss! So why is this any different? It isn’t.
Make Getting Enough Rest a Priority
Getting enough rest is a matter of time management and priorities. It is all about choices and how you choose to manage your time. Without the proper rest, your body and mind struggle to function at their peak.
Your mind will struggle with slower cognitive responses, the inability to think clearly, and depression. Your body will struggle with such things as a compromised immune system and a slower metabolism, making it easier to get sick and gain weight.
Sleep can no longer be viewed as a luxury. If you are going to be juggling work and home under the same roof, you are going to need to be at your top performing level. Scheduling your rest should be just as important as scheduling your client work or children’s activities.
Ways to Unwind at Night
What are some of the ways to fall asleep at night?
A few tips that might help you get those much needed Z’s are:
- Watch television to make your eyes tired. Just don’t overdo it, watch too much, and waste time.
- Read a book. However, limit the amount of time spent reading or you can easily stay up all night to see what happens next.
- Enjoy light exercise like yoga and stretching. These can help you unwind without getting your energy levels so high that you can’t sleep.
- Work a crossword puzzle or play a game like solitaire. Sometimes “extreme thinking” can make you tired and drift off to sleep. There are now even coloring books for adults.
- Knitting or doing a handcraft can help you relax. Try to stay away from hobbies with many small pieces like beading that could get knocked under the bed.
- Drinking a cup of milk or a decaffeinated drink can also help you relax. Stay away from eating too much with it, so you will not have indigestion.
Quantity verses Quality of Sleep
Understanding both quantity and quality of sleep are important. While most people probably need eight hours of sleep, not everyone does. Some will need more, and some will need less. Also, pay attention to the quality of sleep. If you are up and down every two or three hours, this is just as disruptive to your sleep as not getting enough. The reason is this causes the brain to awaken and have to start over every few hours.
Beware of napping! Sleep experts usually agree that if you take a nap before 4 p.m. then you are catching up on your previous night’s sleep. However, if you take a nap after 4 p.m. then you are robbing your upcoming night’s rest. So plan accordingly and try to keep this from becoming an ongoing habit.
While it may not always be easy to get enough rest, you will not only feel better if you do, but ultimately probably get more done in your work-at-home life.
Try This Trick
When a friend of mine wants to go to bed early, and someone calls for her, her husband and children are instructed to say, “She’s out.” (Actually, she’s out like a light and sleeping like a log!) However, this friend has learned to make getting a good night’s rest a priority, and you should too.