I’m writing this blog about getting more rest to encourage myself and you to do exactly that. Why did this idea pop into my head? Because I’m so tired that I’m yawning as I type this and I can hardly keep my eyes open. Yet I’m still working. Does this make sense? No. Am I making sense? I hope so. And I hope by the end of this blog you’ll think about getting more rest. Because if you’re sleep deprived — and about 8 out of 10 of us are — you’re not functioning at the top of your game: you’re an under-par performer, not a peak performer. I’m right there with you — and you know what — we have to do something about it!
Some time ago, I heard the wonderful actress Cherry Jones speak about her craft. She said that when she’s acting in an especially demanding role, she has to get plenty of sleep, because otherwise she simply can’t focus effectively. Been there.
Luckily, there’s help for us all. Do yourself a favor: Google “Psych 101 Goes to Qatar” — and watch an eye-opening lecture by James Maas, a Cornell professor, sleep expert, and author of Power Sleep. The lecture is lively, funny, and life-changing. The prof doesn’t pull any punches. Most of us, he warns, are so chronically sleep deprived that we’re literally using only half our brain. This lack of sleep affects our creativity, concentration, athletic ability, job performance, and life span. Scary stuff, but we can take control. Here are a few tips to get yourself back on track:
• Aim for 7-1/2 to 8-1/2 hours of sleep a night (9-1/2 if you’re in college).
• Pick a bed time and keep it constant, even on weekends if possible.
• Get continuous sleep or you won’t feel rested.
• Make up for lost sleep by taking short 20-minute naps.
“Psych 101” has lots more advice on jet-lag, exercise, and sharpening your mental game. Professor Maas is witty and serious at the same time. Power Sleep is on my must-read list. But for now, it’s lights out!
*Kudos to Rob Gilbert’s Success Hotline (973.743.4690) for this lead.