The old adage to be believed was that job performance and potential to succeed in a chosen career was solely down to how many hours could be clocked up at work. Working all the hours until you’re physically about to drop and your brain is running on adrenaline and caffeine is not the route to go down though, and science can prove it!
As a young professional, there’s no doubt that you are setting up your stall to succeed, appear keen and just be the best employee you can be, but if you think this is only achievable by smashing out work, then you’d be mistaken.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste – a renowned slogan, dreamt up by the advertising agency Young & Rubicam – speaks volumes, and to prevent it being wasted, you must look after it.
The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found insomnia caused workers to lose the equivalent of 11.3 days’ worth of productivity in a single year! With this in mind, achieving high-quality slumber and not grafting for hours on end can mean catching the boss’s eye, progressing and being healthy, compared to struggling to function and cling on to your job!
We want to help you avoid the less desirable route, so let’s look at the tips we have on how you can sleep more when you’re a young professional:
The first point reiterates what we’ve been saying; you need to sleep for the right amount of time. Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, states that young adults require anything from seven to nine hours of sleep a night to lead a healthy life.
It’s also important to factor in some sleep hygiene elements too. factors that fall into this category include:
· A consistent bedtime each evening
· Regular waketime in the mornings
· No caffeine and alcohol consumption within two hours of bedtime
· Avoiding foods that might lead to indigestion
Furthermore, sleeping in a cool bedroom, on a firm mattress, helps to facilitate falling asleep faster and remaining asleep over the course of the evening too. oh, and it aids in disease prevention, such as diabetes, because your body is prepped to burn calories.
Limit Screen Time
Ouch! This one might sting a bit for the young professional who is keen to keep up with the fast-paced world, but due to our ever-present access to technology, and abundant options, we spend a lot of (often too much) time fixated on digital screens.
Staggeringly, experts have even cited that we spend more time looking at screens than sleeping. It’s important to take regular breaks from your screens to relieve strain on your eyes, to improve sleep, and also, to allow yourself time to remain physically active.
Give yourself an hour off from screens when you finish up at work so that you can enjoy other activities such as reading, exercising, socialising in person, and more. The list is endless, and so are the benefits.
Count the Steps
As a young professional, you can often find yourself glued to your desk to meet deadlines and fit everything else into your schedule. This means that exercising can be tricky, but thankfully, there are ways to avoid seeing physical activity falling by the wayside.
One way to stay active is to walk at every opportunity. You can also throw cycling into the mix if you live close enough to work do so, but either will give you chance to arrive at work feeling energised, awake and ready to perform at a higher level than those who have sat in traffic on their way to work.
In the evening, it’ll give you a chance to unwind and clear your head. You can also consider a 30-minute stroll on your lunch break to stay happy and healthy. This is also your chance to stay hydrated, although you should be mindful of this throughout the day too.
Walking not only burns calories, it significantly reduces the risk of you suffering heart problems. When it’s such a simple thing to do, you should be taking the time to make the effort and you reap the benefits at work and in life on the whole.
Do Not Skip Breakfast
One of the first things that people ditch in the morning when they’re in a rush, is breakfast. However, swerving only serves to slow down your metabolism, leave you with low energy levels and a generally poor start to the day.
You’ll be at a disadvantage to those who had breakfast and it’ll mean you take more time to get going. It’s missing those initial productive hours that are on offer when you get in first-thing that can mean the difference between standing out for promotion and clinging on to your job.
So, along with exercise, eating breakfast will aid in improving your perception and boosting your cognitive function.
Take these tips away and use them to stand out from the other young professionals around you!