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Improve Performance= Sleep More and Worry Less

If there’s a silver lining in the COVID-19 cloud, it means greater flexibility with respect to rethinking your sleep habits and how you can make adjustments. The brain does not have enough connections to do two complex tasks at the same time, yet we seem to take great pride in referring to how adept we are at multi-tasking. It’s a myth! In fact, not only does it deplete the brain’s resilience, but we actually have less resistance and discipline in the PM hours after a day of multi-tasking. No wonder people often turn to snacking and eating foods that would not choose earlier in the day.

Research has found that women who tend to multi-task more during the day, use more brain power and need more sleep than their male counterparts. They also feel the effects of sleep loss more acutely. Altering your sleep patterns may reduce anxiety according to researchers at SUNY Binghamton. Of 100 people polled, those who went to bed later and slept for shorter periods had the most severe symptoms of worry and negative thinking.

Everyone knows the sleep warriors, those people who brag about only needing minimal hours in bed, sometimes as few as four. They say that they can accomplish more by rising at 5:00am to hit the ground running and continue at a brisk pace through the day. For the rest of us, a minimum of six to seven hours is recommended and eight would be a luxury.

However, sleep plays an important role in our physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

So, who’s right and is there a true debate around what is necessary to maintain good health for everyone? A simple starting point is to check-in with yourself. Do you find that you are exhausted, irritable and anxious?  Do you regularly hit the snooze button or take a long time to get going in the morning?  Are you feeling sluggish and not fully engaged until mid-morning?

A new routine could be the answer and good sleep hygiene includes consistent behaviors that signal a slowing down at the end of the day. Setting an alarm for a bedtime as well as a wake-up time may be the additional reminder to help you begin a more disciplined approach to sleep.

Add a happiness habit at the conclusion of your day. Name 3 things, or more, that were plusses or moments of gratitude that happened earlier. Say them aloud, share them with a partner, friend or other special person. Maintaining a written record is especially useful to refer to at the end of week. It serves as a reminder that no matter how stressed you might have been, there were many special moments that gave you pause and hopefully a deeper connection to yourself and others.

However comfortable you assumed you were with choice and change, it may morph into overwhelming anxiety that was never anticipated. This makes it the ideal time to engage the support of a certified coach with experience in helping professionals achieve better, faster, results. At KICKSTART Your Transition we offer a broad range of services to fit your needs.


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