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Sleep Awareness Week – Taking Stock

The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) National Sleep Awareness Week wraps up on Sunday.  While the irony for those that spring forward on Sunday lose an hour of sleep occurs on the last day of awareness week is not lost on me, the NSF did provide a great infographic on their page providing 7 tips for better sleep to help you prepare for better sleep despite the hour lost.  Sleep is one of the major self-care components of physiology we cover in high performance – and probably one of the first to be sacrificed when the going gets tough.  This sacrifice does not come without a price.  In a Business Insider article by Jacquelyn Smith, Peter Hames, cofounder and CEO Big Health, the creator of Sleepio, a digital sleep improvement program shared 9 signs you’re not sleeping well – and how it’s affecting your work success.  Beyond the impact to work, consider how it could impact your overarching success:  the impact on ALL interactions and decisions – this is far reaching.

In the physiology module of High Performance Coaching, sleep is a big focus.  One client recently made some very small changes towards achieving more productive sleep (some of which are mentioned in the infographic link above) and noted improvements their overall daily energy levels which they attributed to having more productive sleep.  This leads me to this weeks high performance tip:  take stock in your sleep.  Measure it, both qualitatively and quantitatively.   I recently started using the SleepCycle app to do just that.  If you’re fond of data/spreadsheets like I am, you will likely love this app.  In addition to analyzing your sleep and waking you up in your lightest sleep phase, some other reporting features it has and examples of the data it tracks are sleep cycles, a summary of how long you slept, and a quality of sleep factor.  It also has a premium sleep notes feature you can use before going to bed and upon waking to note and help track the qualitative factors impacting your sleep.  Alternatively, jot down the same information into your personal journal if the premium feature is not for you.  Armed with the data, you can then take action!  In future posts I’ll be sure to cover some ideas and thoughts on how to improve your sleep.  In the meantime, give SleepCycle a try.  Here’s to restful, rejuvenating sleep!