How to Get More Energy by Avoiding These 4 HorsemanMay 01, 2016
I'm Shawn Buttner, CHPC, and I help professionals learn about personal development so they can experience higher levels of joy, growth and impact in their lives.
Have you ever had any of these challenges...
- Your energy is directly tied to the level of caffeinated drinks you have had in the last 30 minutes?
- Your level of energy never is enough to get everything you want or need to get done?
- You are constantly exhausted, grumpy, and stressed to the point where you can't fall asleep?
- You fall asleep at the wrong times? At work, getting a haircut, during the commute home, or during a movie?
That was me years ago.
In 2007, I had just graduated from my masters program with about $80k in student debt. My student loan payments had me $200 in the red each month, I was broke, and stressed.
Insomnia was a normal part of life, made worse by a tech job where I was on call enough to throw off my sleep schedule. I was constantly exhausted, which contributed even more to my insomnia.
I was a stressed out mess! I felt hopeless about my financial situation, where my life was going, and not clear on what I needed to do to change my situation.
After the third night of being so tired I couldn't sleep, I was awake at 3am in the morning stressing out about my life. And I got fed up. Something needed to change. So I got up, went to the computer and started researching what to do about my finances. After a little while, I realized I needed to find a better way to sleep and de-stress in order to have the mental acuity to figure my way out of my student debt. So I started focusing and researching on what to do to sleep better.
I researched how to quiet my mind before bed (my number on culprit). I signed up for a marathon. I started to pay attention to how I was using my bedroom, and what I did before bed. I started to obsess on getting the right amount of sleep, and how to sleep deeper through the night.
Looking back, I have come a long way:
- I no longer toss and turn regularly at night, and sleep through the night.
- I now get the right amount of sleep I need each night to be a happy, functioning human being.
- Sleep rejuvenates me, so I can tackle tough problems and make the best decisions. (It took me 7.5 years to eliminate over $100k in student debt!)
- My base level of energy is higher than ever, and I can even get away without drinking coffee or caffeine during the day!
We live in a new digital economy, and our needs are different from our old industrial economy.
In our industrial economy, sleep was scene as the enemy. Lazy people sleep, the productive hero's of the 20th century saw sleep as the enemy. Coffee, repetitive tasks, and as little sleep as possible ruled industry. (Note this was still pretty terrible for workers. Operating a large saw in a saw mill, for instance, requires you to pay attention so you do not injure yourself or others. This is one of many reasons why unions pushed for 40hr work weeks.)
In the new knowledge economy, the value you add depends on your energy and mental sharpness. Trying to be a 20th century productivity hero actually HARMS productivity for knowledge workers. Research shows your decision making and IQ decrease measurably for each hour of sleep below 7. So if you use you work in management, medicine, technology, law, or any other knowledge based job, sleep is directly impacting your ability to do an awesome job!
Not to mention sleep impacts your mood, and appetite.
Sleep is no longer for the weak, it's essential to survive our fast paced digital world.
So what can you do to get the sleep you need?
The key to a great night's sleep is to avoid the Four Horseman of Insomnia, and to welcome the Four Sandman of Sleep.
The Four Horseman of Insomnia are what prevent you from getting the rest and sleep you deserve.
The Four Sandmen of Good Sleep are what will help you get the best night of sleep possible.
So what is keeping you from getting the best quality of sleep and rest? Is energy and rest a priority, or are you an old-time-y 20th century productivity hero that isn't as productive as your could be?
Here’s what to avoid and what to do to become a 21st Century Productivity Boss:
Avoid the Four Horseman of Insomnia:
- Overstimulated mind (emotional/ analytical)
- Bad habits (eating, alcohol, tv before bed)
- Bad environment (light, temperature, mattress)
- Bad quality/quantity of sleep
Four Sandmen of Sleep:
- Journalling before bed (get work lists out, emotional things out)
- Develop before bed routine ( no tv, eat dinner 3 hrs before bed, no booze, pajamas etc)
- Create the perfect sleep environment
- Improve the quality and quantity of sleep
In order to get better sleep, be willing to try some new things and see what happens. The worst that happens is you have a great night sleep and notice no difference in your life.
Best case, you see what all the hoopla is about, and see for yourself how making sleep a priority enhances your productivity, decision-making, happiness, and joy!
No matter how well or not well you are sleeping, try one new idea each night this whole week to help you get some better Zzzzs!
If you liked this video, please do the social media thing and share it with a friend or loved one who might like it. Please comment below with any ideas or tips you use to get better sleep.
Shawn Buttner, CPHC
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