Sure, you have probably been told at some point that to be the best in real estate, you need to be the first person up and out in the morning and the last one to bed at night. Maybe this is true to an extent, but if you are doing so at the cost of a decent night’s sleep, you could be doing your performance (among other things) more harm than good.
While I do not profess to be a sleep expert, I have studied sleep and read numerous studies on sleep as part of a psychology degree. What I can tell you is that study after study showed that if you want health and well being then adequate quality sleep needs to be part of your day.
There are various explanations as to why we sleep but the main reasons include saving energy, regulating emotions, processing information and consolidation and formation of memory. In short, this means that quality and quantity of sleep is vital in maintaining a healthy body and mind. You only have to ask parents of a newborn baby to understand what the impacts of lack of sleep are on their lives.
ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH?
There are varying opinions on how much sleep an adult requires to be able to perform at optimum levels. However, general recommendations fall between 6.5 and 8.5 hours sleep per night. Interestingly though regularly sleeping too long (over 9 hours per night) is also unhealthy and has been associated with an increased risk of dying. Who knew that sleeping could be so deadly!
Sleep requirements however differ from person to person and are also dependent on age. Thankfully for new parents, a newborn baby can sleep as much as 18 hours a day and teenagers need on average 9.2 hours a night to function at their best at school. There are also day people and night people, meaning people that are most alert at different times of the day. Most importantly though, there is no one size fits all. You need to find out what works for you, remembering that consistency is key.
Lack of sleep is proven to negatively impact our performance, affecting important functions such as learning and memory.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE SLEEP DEPRIVED?
Most of us find that we don’t have enough hours in a day to get everything done, so we think that by cutting an hour of two out of our sleep we will be able to achieve more. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have most likely made yourself less effective by doing so. Lack of sleep is proven to negatively impact our performance, affecting important functions such as learning and memory. But it doesn’t stop there, other consequences include moodiness, reduced creativity and problem-solving skills, decision making difficulties, impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents. Stress also often co-occurs with inadequate sleep, it can disrupt sleep and sleep loss can increase subsequent stress levels. But if that wasn’t enough to get you back into bed, sleepy people tend to be hungry people, which may explain the link between sleep deprivation, obesity, and diabetes.
Insomnia is one of Australia’s most common health problems, with one in three of us suffering its effects at some point in their life.
TIPS FOR MAKING SURE YOU ARE GETTING A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP AND GETTING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR PERFORMANCE
If you happen to being having a few problems sleeping, you are not alone. Insomnia is one of Australia’s most common health problems, with one in three of us suffering its effects at some point in their life. If you are having problems sleeping here are some tips to help overcome it:
- Don’t eat a large meal before bed
- An hour before bed disconnect (yes get off Facebook!)
- Avoid coffee, chocolate, and alcohol before bedtime – caffeine will keep you awake and alcohol will wake you
- during the night
- Avoid physical activity late at night as it activates autonomic nervous system
- Keep a sleep routine
- Ensure your room is dark and don’t keep a brightly lit clock near the bed
I will also add that given we spend approximately one third of our life sleeping; I recommend (if the budget allows for it) that you invest in a quality bed, linen and pillows.
In summary, we all have different requirements for sleep and to know whether you are getting enough sleep you need to take note on how you feel during the day. If you wake up feeling refreshed and have the required level of energy and focus during the day then you are doing okay. If not, then you may want to consider adding some extra sleep to your day to reap the benefits.