There are a lot of management tips and tricks to help you become a better leader, a better communicator and a better strategist. From time management to performance management, there are methods to help you in every area of your career. But one thing that not enough people pay attention to is how your physical health can affect your ability to manage and be effective as a leader. One of the biggest health issues linked to management performance is sleep – something most people don’t get enough of.
The Harvard Business Review has written about the studies on sleep and management, saying “Sleep allows us to consolidate and store memories, process emotional experiences, replenish glucose (the molecule that fuels the brain), and clear out beta-amyloid (the waste product that builds up in Alzheimer’s patients and disrupts cognitive activity). By contrast, insufficient sleep and fatigue lead to poor judgment, lack of self-control, and impaired creativity.” The article goes on to discuss how sleep deprivation doesn’t just affect a manager’s own ability to do their job well; it trickles down and affects the performance of the entire team.
Increasing the quality of sleep can be a link to better job performance and job satisfaction. How can you get the sleep you need?
- Avoid caffeine, smoking and alcohol: Using any of these within hours of bedtime can significantly disrupt your sleep, so make sure that you steer clear of these in the hours before bed.
- Keep the room cool: Being too hot can impair the ability to fall or stay asleep. Keeping a fan in the bedroom or using a lighter cover can help you stay cooler and more comfortable and sleep better.
- Avoid screens: Keeping TV watching and phone and tablet use to a minimum before bed is key in helping your brain get relaxed enough to enjoy quality sleep.
- Stick to a schedule: As boring as it sounds, making sure that you stay as close to a schedule for your sleep – getting up at the same time and going to bed at the same time – has been linked to overall better sleep quality.
If you’re looking to up your management game, or want to simply feel better on the job, paying attention to your sleep hygiene might just be part of the answer.