Dr. Mathew Walker’s ‘RULES’ if you will, can be summarized in his 12 Tips For Healthy Sleep.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Exercise is great, but not too late in the day (no later than three hours before bedtime).
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. (It erodes your REM sleep.)
- Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
- Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep.
- Don’t take naps after 3pm.
- Relax before bed, such as reading or listening to music.
- Take a hot bath before bed (to drop your body temperature the necessary 2-3 degrees F).
- Dark bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget-free bedroom (anything that might distract your sleep).
- Have the right sunlight exposure. Wake up with the sun or bright lights.
- Don’t lie in bed awake (get up if you can’t sleep).
Now that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that taking sleep seriously effects virtually everything you do, what will you change? What’s the cost of NOT changing?
Are you going to be one of those dorky sales people who thinks it’s impressive to brag about how much you suck at sleeping? That’s what you’re doing when you say ‘ah, I don’t need any rest, I’m a stud / studette!’ Dr. Walker’s study showed that you’re literally doing the opposite of what you think when you operate with no sleep. You think you’re pulling more out of life, when in fact, you’re quite literally headed faster for death.
“the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The leading causes of disease and death in developed nations—diseases that are crippling health-care systems, such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, and cancer—all have recognized causal links to a lack of sleep.”
― Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Ultimately, you have a lifestyle choice to make. Follow the sleep rules and live longer, happier, more creatively and of course as a result help more people thus making you more profitable….or….keep on ignoring sleep. It’s up to you.