Workplace: Sleep

Sleep, and the amount of it we get, can affect our abilities to think, work, problem-solve, and stay safe. Adults typically need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. (Teens and children need more.) When most adults don’t get at least 7 hours (or their personal optimal hours), they can become cranky, agitated, and even unsafe.

Shift work and 10- to 12-hour days affect sleep patterns. Some people adjust and find ways to protect their sleeping hours. Others struggle to be effective anywhere in their lives due to long hours or shift work. Over the last decades, circadian (24-hour cycles) rhythm research shows that every body has regular, cyclically occurring physical needs that must be met in order to function well.

Sir Winston Churchill understood this before the research was done. He claimed to nap in the afternoon to re-energize. According to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang: “Churchill himself regarded his midday naps as essential for maintaining his mental balance, renewing his energy, and reviving his spirits.” While I rarely take naps, the napping and power napping (20 minutes) ideas work for people I know.

Fall brings shortened days of light. Colleagues, friends, and family members who struggle with the longer dark-hours find that daily morning use of a light designed to replicate sunlight helps to boost their energy, mood, and attitude throughout the day. Just as sleep matters, the quality of our daylight hours matters too.

Recall that even our computer language includes the word/concept Sleep. When you click on your power icon, the options to sleep, restart, or power-off appear. To sleep means to leave all of my windows open but let the system go-dark to save energy. To restart means to shut everything down as though the power has been turned off but before turning completely off, restart as though the power has turned back on and work is to begin. To power-off is to completely shut-down everything being worked on and to turn off the power.

Sleep matters. Sleep provides us – and our equipment – with energy-saving and energy-boosting resources. Without sleep, we are less effective and less well human beings.

Are you getting enough sleep?

If not, what needs to change?

Looking to brainstorm productivity at work?   Let’s visit.   Jana Kemp 208-367-1701 

As the author of seven books, three of which are on use of time and decision-making, Jana has been interviewed by U.S., Canadian, and European programs, and magazines.

Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work.

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