If You Snooze, You Lose

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Millions of inventions over the years have vastly improved the world in many ways.  The electric light bulb.  The automobile.  The Smartphone.   One humble invention is a part of just about every person’s life at one time or another.  It has evolved over the years, but its main function can’t be replaced.  It’s the alarm clock.  Where would most people be without it?  Fast asleep, missing work or school.

One of the most loved features of the alarm clock is the snooze button.  You don’t really have to get up when the alarm sounds.  Just punch the snooze button and you’ve bought yourself 10 minutes or so of delicious sleep.  An article in the Huffington Post warns against punching the snooze button too often.  It seems those extra minutes of sleep are really working against you and your health.

Going back to sleep after the alarm rings can disrupt your circadian rhythms, which set the pattern of sleeping and eating for just about every living thing on the planet.  Seems what you do while you’re going to sleep, sleeping and waking up have a huge impact on your health and disposition.

One of the most basic elements of job success is showing up on time.  Forget the big degrees, great connections and 4.0 GPA in Grad school.  You can’t be brilliant if you’re not there.  So, when the alarm sounds, get up. 

So you’re already the first one to arrive at the office and save your sleep-ins for the weekend.  Staying up late on the weekends and sleeping late also do a number on the circadians.  In fact, they can disrupt your body clock like jet lag after a cross-country flight.

Need to get to sleep?  Forcing yourself to stay in bed when you can’t get to sleep won’t help.  Instead, get up and take a walk, read, or do something else quiet and relaxing. Then try again.  Avoid late the late-night latte or a couple of shots of tequila.  Alcohol and caffeine  work against your natural rhythms, too.

Part of career planning is getting the best education you can.  If you don’t get your sleep at night, you may find yourself taking a nap in English Literature or Calculus instead.  Bad move.  One of the success tips for college students is get to class early.  In order to do that, you’ve got to get your ZZZZZs at night.  If you really need more sleep (and your next class isn’t for a couple of hours) reset your alarm and get another hour of sleep.  You’ll be able to get the benefits of some good REM sleep and will wake up refreshed.

You may not be able to live without your Smartphone, but one place it shouldn’t be is in bed with you.  The light emitted interferes with the production of melatonin, a natural sleep inducer.  Decide on a “lights out” time and turn off the TV, IPad, laptop, and any other device with a screen.  Darkness and quiet are natural sleep inducers.  OK, if you have to have your phone handy, at least turn it over, screen-side down.

Whether you’re a professional, new to the job market or a college student, you can’t do anything well without sleep.  Try some of these tricks to get you snoozing or you’ll find you’re losing your edge and maybe your job.

Photo Source:  Freedigitalphotos.net


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