No one ever thinks about getting enough sleep until they feel the effects of not getting enough sleep. A lack of focus, fatigue, poor resistance to illness, headaches, and just generally feeling awful are some signs. Here’s how to get enough sleep (or at least recognize that you may not be) so you can perform your best—and eventually get that raise.
1. Avoid caffeine after 3PM. Studies have shown that consuming caffeine six hours or less before bedtime can cause disruptions in your sleep patterns. Give yourself a deadline for your daily java, tea, or 5 Hour Energy shot consumption and stick to it.
2. Quit using an alarm clock. If you rely on an alarm clock to wake you up everyday, it means that you’re not sleeping enough. If you’re getting enough sleep, your body will naturally wake up on its own when you’re ready. If you rely on an alarm clock to wake you up every morning, you need to start going to bed earlier or taking naps, period.
3. Make sure you’re getting the right kind of sleep. If you’re asleep for 11 hours but are tossing and turning and periodically waking up the entire time, you’re going to feel worse than if you had six hours of proper, restful sleep the next morning. If you think you have a sleep disorder, see a doctor to find out how to fix your issue. It could be something as simple as switching to decaf or something more serious, like sleep apnea. You won’t know until you ask an expert.
4. Cut back on your boozing. Drinking alcohol can help you fall asleep, but it can make you more likely to wake up during the night. Try warm milk instead.
5. Unplug! The light from your iPad or cell phone can keep you up. If you need an actual alarm clock (which, as we mentioned, you shouldn’t), get an old-school analog clock and keep your phone turned off.