DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
SLUGGISH AT WORK? GET MORE SLEEP AT HOME
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2005
Getting in trouble at work because you’re too tired to do your job well? How’ve you been sleeping lately?
Many people are sluggish during the day, making all kinds of mistakes, because they aren’t getting enough sleep at night. It’s difficult to concentrate well and to remain even-tempered and on top of things when it’s all you can do to stay awake. Loading up on coffee, soda or other caffeine products doesn’t help and creates another set of problems altogether, so don’t look to this as a solution. Instead, take a close look at your sleep routine to see what can be improved.
What Time Are You Getting To Bed?
The pace of today’s jobs means that you probably get home late and have a lot to do before you can wind down for the day. The hubbub of getting meals and kids ready for bed, tidying up, preparing for that big presentation the next day at work, can all make you tense and a sure bet to have trouble relaxing and falling asleep. Even singles can find that there’s too much work and not enough day to get everything done before its time for bed. Pare things down to the essentials so that you can get into bed at a reasonable hour and get the sleep you need. Most sleep experts recommend seven to nine hours. Yes, this means skipping some of the fun stuff if you’re staying up too late watching your favorite shows or doing other things you enjoy. Pulling a real late-nighter once in a while is no big thing, but your mind and body need rest and you can’t function at your peak by scraping by with too little sleep on a regular basis.
Any Bedtime Drama?
Conflict is guaranteed to disturb your sleep so nip any bedtime drama in the bud. For couples living together (and even some who don’t) arguments over money are most frequent, with power struggles over whether or not to have sex following close behind. For singles, relationship battles are common, typically involving how much time is nor isn’t being spent together, and all these contentious kinds of discussions need to be resolved or scheduled for another time if bedtime is going to be the peaceful, restorative experience it needs to be. See a therapist if necessary. You will be vulnerable to these kinds of struggles late at night because you’re worn out from the day’s trials and tribulations and get on each other’s nerves more easily. Also, your tolerance for putting up with aggravation lessens as your energy winds down, making it more likely that such arguments will occur. If you’re prone to harbor resentment and to hold grudges, chances are great that you won’t be able to move beyond the argument and your chances of getting a good night’s sleep are shot.
What Time Are You Waking Up?
Some people aren’t getting enough sleep because they’re waking up early to get a jump on the day. While there’s nothing wrong with doing this from time to time, try not to make a steady habit of it. Determine the amount of time you need to get dressed and fed, and leave other tasks until you get home and have time to take care of them, or until the weekend. Women are particularly guilty of extreme multitasking: trying to do a load of laundry, ironing, vacuuming, or trying to squeeze in similar chores along with everything else they have to do before going to work. This increases the feeling of stress and fatigue before you even leave the house, so imagine how your mind and body feel by the end of the day? Get better organized and put yourself on a schedule so that these chores get done in a more routine manner at more manageable times, rather than cut into your sleep. Sometimes this means making tough choices because you only have so much time available to do it all, but look for alternative ways of doing things rather than assume that getting less sleep is the only way to do it.
Take Steps to Get More Sleep
The carryover of work stress, personal, and relationship struggles, all can keep your sleep routine in an uproar. This then becomes a vicious cycle, because you go into the office tired, irritable, and certainly not able to give your job your best effort. Making lifestyle changes can help tremendously, so take steps to do so today. But also remember that repeatedly being unable to fall asleep, oversleeping, or dozing off during the day can be signs of more serious conditions, so be sure to see your physician for a check up if your sleep disturbance and sluggishness are habitual.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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