You heard us right, it actually is possible to sleep your way to the top at work, but maybe not in the way you’re thinking…
What we’re talking about here is actual sleep, something you might be lacking of if you’re working in the corporate world.
Certain employees, such as shift workers, have always been victims of circumstance when it comes to sleep issues. However, the corporate world also has its share of problems when it comes to sleep that are often overlooked.
Office workers in large corporations have common sleep disorders that could snowball into bigger health and well-being issues; a lack of fitness, stress, lack of sleep, weight gain, snoring, disturbed sleep times and unhealthy diets, to name but a few. Citing a lack of time to exercise or follow a proper diet, these corporate workers often put on unwanted weight due to their long hours and executive lifestyles.
Stress, too, is a major factor that leads to unhealthiness in these workers. Many jobs are highly stressful; poor stress management impacts on sleep cycles and the constant worry can lead to insomnia. In a global role, the requirement to take conference calls in the middle of the night is a real concern, coupled with a need to be seen in the office again bright and early the next morning messes with natural sleeping patterns and causes daytime fatigue. In the long run, this is counter productive, as workers will not be able to perform at their best on such little sleep. Tiredness also inhibits our ability to make good food choices, fuelling the need for instant energy with high sugar options that only cause a larger crash later.
Many corporate workers also need to take a look at how they unwind, since many use unhealthy food and alcohol when they would be far better off going for a long run in the fresh air and eating a balanced, nutritious meal; or taking a yoga class and a cup of herbal tea before an early night.
Due to the long hours, many workers expend proper nutrition and exercise, leading to a higher rate of snoring, stress and insomnia. For many, after working in the corporate world for many years, they start to burn out.
Unfortunately, surviving on a couple of hours’ sleep and caffeine are often worn as status symbols around the office and junior members of staff feel ever increasing pressure to be present in the office or available by phone and email at home until late into the night, going far above and beyond reasonable working hours. Older executives who have been following this lifestyle for a number of years put themselves at serious risk of burnout.
It’s time to take a long, hard look at the importance of good sleep, stress management, exercise and nutrition as an integral part of being able to do a job well, rather than sidelining these crucial elements in order to answer just one more email before you finally sink into bed for four hours of restless sleep before the alarm goes off and the cycle begins again.
Planning and preparation are key – just as work days are scheduled and projects meticulously laid out, so nutritious meals should be planned and prepared in advance (there’s no excuse here, as there are some amazing delivery options if you really can’t find the time), exercise scheduled into your diary and strict cut off times for working at home to ensure good rest. Performance will increase, productivity will go up and energy levels will soar. By combining nutrition, exercise, psychology, sleep awareness and sleep improvement, you can improve your lifestyle drastically.
Sleeping your way to the top? Not so hard after all.