Project Management, Leadership

Monday Blues? Research Reveals 9 Ways to Get Better Sleep

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Mondays are better when you come in refreshed. It’s all too common to see people with Monday blues, feeling ill at ease, having trouble focusing and thinking clearly, or generally seeming less motivated. When that happens, your projects become at risk: You may be slower to spot issues and less sharp at resolving them. In fact, here are all the ways poor sleep could contribute to a reduced quality of work.

So how do you do your part to contribute your best to your team, when it’s so hard to get eight hours of sleep today, especially for team leaders? The answer is to make the most of the sleep you do get.

Here are nine ways to get higher-quality sleep, backed by research, to beat the Monday blues and come in refreshed to contribute to your projects.

1. Set a routine (Girlshealth.gov)

Getting up at the same time each day trains your body on what to expect. You’ll more easily get out of bed and get the day going.

2. Play a mental game (National Institute on Aging)

You don’t have to count sheep to induce sleep, but you can help yourself by playing a mind game. You may count slowly to 100, or imagine a natural scene and populate it with relaxing flora and fauna.

3. Download the Sleep Genius app (Nasa)

When astronauts struggled to sleep on a forced cycle in space, NASA researched sleep induction. They found that low-amplitude vestibular stimulation shifted sleep patterns in mice. Fast forward to today, and the Sleep Genius app emits exactly the right kind of sound to help you feel heavy-eyed.

Did you know hearing is the only sense that stays alert while you sleep? — NASA

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4. Turn off the technology (Ohio Department of Education)

Try to avoid technology an hour before you want to sleep. You’ve heard this one before, and it’s worth restating.

5. Form the right habits (FDA.gov)

Nearly everything on this list could become a good habit to promote quality sleep. Some other habits that the FDA recommends could help you avoid needing a prescription or over-the-counter drug to induce sleep. These habits include: exercising regularly, avoiding coffee and cigarettes, and ensuring your sleep environment is dark and quiet.

6. Get sunshine when you’re awake (National Institutes of Health)

It’s as important to treat your day right as it is to treat your night correctly. To get better sleep at night, spend at least part of your day in the sunlight. The NIH recommends at least thirty minutes in natural daylight.

7. Watch what you consume three hours before bed (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The CDC put out recommendations for truck drivers, who specifically were having trouble getting good sleep. Three hours before you want to go to bed, they recommend avoiding all of these: spicy food, heavy meals, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and liquids, which make you get up at night.

8. Devote your bed to bedtime (Navy)

Doing other activities in your bed such as watching television, viewing your mobile devices, reading, and working can contribute to poor sleep habits.

9. Don’t force it (Girlshealth.gov)

If you can’t fall asleep within a half hour of hitting the pillow, your best option is to rise, do something, and try sleeping a little later.

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