Sleep Hacks for a More Productive Day at Work
Aug 01, 22
Have you ever noticed that there are certain times of the day when you feel more tired than the others? Most of us have experienced the feeling of lethargy that kicks in around afternoon, popularly known as the “afternoon slump”.
These patterns of alertness and lethargy are determined by our body’s homeostatic sleep drive. Our body is designed to balance its need for sleep, with its need for wakefulness. If we’re awake for a long period of time, our sleep drive tells us that it’s time to sleep.
This simple biological phenomenon explains why our productivity levels vary throughout the day. Here are a few easy hacks to help you have a more productive day at work -
Time your Coffee Intake –
Caffeine is an inhibitor of the body’s homeostatic sleep drive. Which is why, the best time to have coffee is around mid-day when your sleep drive begins to build. This reduces the desire to sleep or feelings of fatigue. Also, with more hours to spare between afternoon and bed-time, your mid-day coffee will not hamper with your night’s sleep.
Take Power Naps –
It’s a good idea to take a power nap if you feel too lethargic to focus. The key is to nap for a short duration of 10-20 minutes only. Naps shorter than 10 mins provide no benefit at all. While naps longer than 20 mins may negatively impact your night’s sleep.
Plan your meals – Plan your meals in tune with your body’s needs. Never skip breakfast as it provides you with the energy necessary to work through the day. However, avoid a heavy lunch as it may cause lethargy. Instead eat frequently and in smaller quantities.
Light is your friend during the day – Our circadian rhythm is aligned with nature’s clock. We need sunlight to feel awake and darkness for good sleep. During the day, try and get as much natural light in as possible. Alternatively, ensure your workplace is well-lit with lots of artificial lighting.
Take frequent breaks between work - Make sure to take a minute to stretch your body every now and then. Stiffness can mean tiredness. You must also blink often and take breaks to rest your eyes if working on screens for a long time.
Hydration is Vital – A common, yet ignored cause of fatigue is dehydration. Don’t forget to drink fluids often. Keep a bottle of water handy at your work desk at all times.
Plan your Routine – Our mind is most active 2-3 hours after we wakeup. So schedule your sleep and wake up time accordingly. Plan tasks that require high level of focus within the first couple of hours of your workday.
Get a Morning Workout - An early morning workout impacts the serotonin levels in your brain. It helps boost your mood, makes you feel good and energized for the day.
- Have a Morning Ritual – A good start helps you prepare better for the day. Try and get in some sunlight as soon as you wake up. Stretch and exercise your body. Have a hearty breakfast. Include activities that you enjoy like journaling, meditating or listening to music as part of your morning ritual.