Prioritize Sleep. It’s advice that almost all parents are given, especially after they have their first child. You will be faced with many sleepless nights. Add-in another child (or more) and you’ll be repeating the process. Before you know it, your evenings will seem like a moving circus of children interrupting your sleep. In our house, we’ve been through those cycles where it seems that every night a different child is in our room waking us up. Today it can seem even harder to prioritize sleep if you watch or read any news of the world before you try to go to bed. Good luck finding happy news that’s unrelated to COVID-19. And when you pile on a lack of sleep, it can make you feel like a zombie. Each day of social isolation feels like a year. There have been a few times over the last few weeks where I couldn’t even remember what day it is.
Tips for Prioritizing Sleep
The Harvard Business Review had a good article this week with tips for How Working Parents Can Prioritize Sleep. As they point out, “Getting good sleep won’t give you more time, but it will help you make better use of the time you have.” To help out, they suggest:
- Make sleep a priority.
- Set a consistent sleep routine for yourself and your children.
- Limit exposure to blue light at night.
- Keep screens out of your bedroom.
- Quit while you’re ahead.
- Don’t stress about those inevitable nights of poor sleep.
- Don’t start talking about serious matters right before bed.
- Give your family and colleagues the benefit of the doubt.
- Work together as efficiently as possible to reduce decision fatigue and inefficiency.
- If you and your partner have different sleeping times, make the most of it.
- Buy time where you can.
- Look into the possibility of flextime.
From firsthand experience, many of these tips really do help you prioritize your sleep. A few years ago, I began creating a consistent night routine. Screens go off. Books get opened (you can see what I’m currently reading on my About Me page…). And at some point, my brain knows it’s time to get to sleep. On nights when we’ve gone out to see a movie or stayed up late to watch something on TV, I can feel the difference in my sleep the next morning.
In these stressful times, and especially if you are running a business, you need to be at your best in the morning. Read the HBR article and examine what you can do to prioritize your sleep.