A recent survey from Harvard Business Review shows that 43% of business leaders say they don’t get enough rest at least four nights a week.
While busy work and home schedules make it hard to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night, research shows that lack of sleep has a strong impact on leadership capabilities. According to reports, after roughly 20 hours of being awake, an individual’s performance is equivalent to a person with a blood alcohol level of .1%. That’s the legal definition of drunk in the United States.
In honor of World Sleep Day, below are three tips to help you get proper rest at night and be effective leaders the next day.
1. Turn off electronic devices: While scrolling through social media, reading from an iPad, or turning on Netflix late at night may be a go-to option for many, research shows that the light from these devices disrupts your internal clock by suppressing the hormone melatonin, which prevents the body from getting the message that it’s bedtime. As an alternative, studies suggest using a real alarm clock instead of your phone to wake you up, reading from a printed book instead of a tablet, and turning off all devices an hour before bedtime.
2. Listen to soothing music: Listening to lullabies isn’t just for babies, as soothing music can also be good for adults in their efforts to relax. According to Sleep.org, soothing music can help individuals fall asleep faster, wake up less during the night and feel more rested in the morning.
3. Avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime: According to researchers at Michigan’s Henry Ford Hospital’s Sleep Disorders & Research Center and Wayne State College of Medicine, consuming caffeine even six hours before bedtime can negatively affect sleep quality and quantity. To address this issue, researchers suggest switching over to tea or decaffeinated coffee as the day continues in order to improve sleeping patterns at night.