In a connected world that continues to put pressure on anyone thinking they can survive working 9 to 5, we are often confronted with time issues for our personal lives and achieving everything we want to work. For many years I have seen Sunday night as a nice quiet time for final class preparations and ensuring I am prepared for the week (class planning, reviewing class notes, family obligation planning, etc.). The thought was that this was rather unique to my field, as class instruction begins Monday morning, it does not leave time for preparing directly prior.
GenerationY.com posted an article titled Getting Shit Done Sunday… A guide to preparing for your week ahead. I do not see using Sunday as a preparation day as something that is only confronting generation Y, but maybe it could be more predominant for them than other generations? The article leaves out the first step in sound management, and the purpose of my blog tonight: Getting your sleep.
Get your sleep!
It does not matter if you are preparing for a big presentation, starting a business trip, playing a sports game, coaching a sports game (for example, Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly mandates that all of his coaching staff obtains proper sleep levels), starting an Ayurveda diet1 or anything else, the first step is the same: Get your sleep.
Proper sleep has many benefits: health, thinking, energy levels, less coffee needed, simply feeling better, and not being as easily persuaded during negotiations. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School mentions issues of insufficient sleep, according to studies, as being a greater risk of disease and poor health, and “reduced efficiency and productivity, errors, and accidents”. The same Harvard website summarizes that sleep is not only vital in learning but also for processing and retaining the learned information.
A few of the many other studies that highlight the multiple benefits are:
– Takahashi, Masaya (2012). Prioritizing sleep for healthy work schedules, Journal of Physiological Anthropology.
– Gruber, Reut, Wiebe, Sabrina T., Wells, Samantha Ashley, Cassoff, Jamie, and Monson, Eva (2010). Sleep and academic success: mechanisms, empirical evidence, and interventional strategies, Medicine: State of the art Reviews [2010, 21(3): 522-541].
– Taras, Howard, Potts-Datema, William (2009). Sleep and Student Performance at School, Journal of School Health, Vol. 75 Issue 7.
One potential first step is being able to wake without an alarm clock for an extended period, as a method to identify the average amount of sleep needed. An alternative is to obtain increased levels of sleep until you are able to wake prior to the alarm. Yes, this means turn off Netflix, Facebook and email on your smartphone. It is not easy to do, but the benefits of sleep do seem to justify it.
This does not mean that there are no busy time periods where sleep is going to be reduced and at a premium. There will be. It is a matter of being prepared, knowing how much sleep you require, and planning when to obtain that sleep. Consistency in sleep and wake times and time of caffeine intake are also points to observe.
It is now 11:30pm Sunday night. My preparations for the week are done. It is time to break my mantra of “I will sleep when I am dead” and start to chew my own cud. Good Night.
1see Schönberger, Birgit (2015). Es kommt auf die Balance an. Gesund Leben No. 4/ 2015, Pg. 38.