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6 Sleep Strategies for Exhausted Professionals

I hear a lot of exhausted clients complain about how they don’t understand why they just can’t go to bed earlier or get more sleep, which can be really frustrating for them.

There are times when even I don’t sleep well for reasons outside of my control, and if that happens once in a while, I don’t worry too much about it. But if it’s happening all the time, that’s when I really try and think about what’s going on… Why am I not sleeping? You know?

The Complexities of Sleep

I remember when I first had kids, I would always find that I had one ear open, so even if I slept, if there was the littlest tiny noise or anything, I would be up. This can also apply to people with a corporate lifestyle, considering all the responsibilities they may have. And although I still do this every now and then, I regularly feel much more rested.

However, if I’m not sleeping or if I am sleeping but I wake up and I’m not rested, then I try to reflect to find out what is going on. Because that shouldn’t happen, unless there’s a specific reason, like a phone call or child waking you up. That’s different. That’s situational. The important thing to know is that it shouldn’t be happening on a regular basis!

But if it’s because you wake up at three o’clock of the morning every single night, or you do sleep through the night, but you still feel exhausted, then you need to ask yourself why this happens and try to find the patterns. For me, I usually sleep pretty well, but when I start to see something happening for a while, I try and reflect and be self-aware.

Identifying Patterns and Causes

As a person in the corporate world, you may have A LOT of stress and worries in your life. Attacking deadline after deadline, it’s easy to get so worked up in your work life that you forget about everything else. It’s important to try to keep a balance between work life and “life-life.”

It might feel impossible at first, but with a little effort and small steps towards change, you will be able to do it, and not only will your quality of life be so much better, but you will also perform a lot better at work, after coming in so well rested! 

You should also evaluate your sleep hygiene. Are you going to bed at different times every single day? Are you watching Netflix or staying on your phone up to the very last minute before you finally try to fall asleep? If you do, these are certainly not helpful habits. And since they are habits, they may be easy to break. Once again, it’s important to break them little by little! Otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed and the few days/weeks of hard work trying to get rid of those habits will be for nothing after you go right back to them. 

Seeking solutions

Now, let’s try and fix this cycle where you just don’t get enough sleep, cause enough is enough! 

  • Establish a better sleep schedule. Now, this is the most important one. If you go to bed at the same time every day, and do the same for waking up, your body will start adapting to your new schedule. You will simply get used to it and will start waking up at that same time even without an alarm! However, there’s a catch… You also need to be going to bed and waking up at that same time on the weekends. Otherwise, your sleep cycle will be disrupted every weekend and your body will simply not be able to adapt.
  • Create a better nighttime routine. Leave your phone before bed! As a matter of fact, leave any screen for at least 30 minutes before you go to bed, otherwise, no wonder you can’t sleep, your circadian rhythm is disrupted because of the blue light!  Working on your stress levels will also help this.  When you are stressed and in fight or flight, your body will not allow you to sleep properly.
  • Avoid substances such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Not only are they not good for you, but they also have a bad impact on your sleep. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants, and to sleep well you need to relax, so these 3 don’t go well together. While alcohol reduces the quality of your sleep by disrupting the sleep cycle.

Personal Sleep Tools and Strategies

Some other tools can help you fall asleep and sleep better throughout the night. They are also kind of cool and might make you want to go to bed earlier just to apply and use these tools and tips… They will make you love your nighttime routine!

  • Working on your nutrition. Now, this is my favorite one! Believe it or not, certain foods can hinder your sleep such as sugar and junk foods because it can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate at night which can wake you up.  On the flip side, certain nutrients can help you sleep, such as magnesium which is found in bananas, pink Himalayan salt,  nuts, seeds, avocados and more!
  • Sleep tracking devices. Some smart watches have a sleep tracker built into them. Personally, I find all the data to be super interesting, it shows when you are in your deep or light sleep phase, how much you move throughout the night, how long do you sleep in total, etc. It can be very helpful!
  • Meditation. Really, meditation and breathing techniques are one of the most helpful ways to get you in a relaxed state, calm you down, and get you ready for sleep. If you also combine it with aromatherapy, then you will sleep through the night like a baby!

To conclude…

The reality is we should all feel awesome. If you’re not feeling awesome, why aren’t you feeling awesome? Are you aware of how you’re feeling, and are you being self-aware about how you are feeling? I know that if I’m tired or I lack energy or whatever, I’ve got certain tools in place that I know work for me. Like drinking more water, or getting out in the sunshine because anytime I go for a walk out in the sunshine, I feel a million times better afterwards.

When you’re ready to support your team’s health and wellness, click here to grab your copy of the 6 Wellness Strategies from High Performing Companies Guide.