You’ve probably heard the saying before, “i wish there were more hours in the day”. Too many of us are looking for answers as to how to can become more productive within a less amount of time. 

The first answer that comes to mind is better time management strategies. Which is absolutely necessary. However, there are more variables to this. One of those is being able to differentiate the difference between the important tasks and the urgent tasks. Secondly, is having enough emotional intelligence to know when to perform the most important tasks. For example, research has indicated that we are most productive in the early hours of the morning, however, some may argue they prefer to work on those in the evening as they are more ‘alert and focused’, which is fine as well. 

While these components are necessary to developing high performing habits, they don’t matter much if you’re not getting enough sleep or BETTER sleep. Why is this the case? 

Below are just some of the effects sleep deprivation has on us according to ongoing research:

  1. Impairs focus, decision-making and creativity 
  2. Causes serious health problems: diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure
  3. Can contribute to symptoms of depression or anxiety. 
  4. Reduces memory 

Impaired focus

Research has also indicated that in order to be fully alert and ‘fresh’ the following morning, an individual requires 3-4 REM sleep cycles (90min intervals). During this period of rapid eye movement, muscles are in a state of paralysis for active recovery and also allows for the brain to retain information into its long term memory. 

Renowned US sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus has described the following hacks to not only improve your sleep, but to also become extra productive due to the level of freshness you feel.

  1. “NAP A LATTE” – This hack has been used consistently by CEOs, entrepreneurs and executives. To do this; Have a cup of black coffee and place a few ice cubes in it, once it has cooled down, consume it and immediately have a nap for 25 mins. By the time you wake up, not only will you be more alert due to the sleep, but the caffeine would have started taking effect. This little hack will keep you sharp for 4 hours.
  2. CONSUME MAGNESIUM  – Magnesium helps you sleep more sound and bananas are packed with nutrient. Cut the tip of the banana and then cut the rest in half. Place both in a pot with 3 cups of boiling hot water, once the banana has turned brown, remove it and drink immediately. This will help you sleep quicker and more deeply. 
  3. MITIGATE BLUE LIGHT – There is ongoing research to support the idea that looking at blue light while in bed will keep you awake. Dr. Breus has suggested two ways to minimise the effects. 1) Purchase blue light inhibitor glasses while reading looking at a laptop, iPad etc. 2) Stop looking at your device all together 60mins prior to going to sleep. This will allow the brain to slow down and prepare for sleep. 
  4. SLEEP IN A COOL ROOM – Research has indicated that the optimal temperature to sleep is approximately 18 degrees. If you don’t own an AC, leave your window open and you will notice your sleep will drastically improve. 
  5. NAP DURING THE DAY – Dr. Breus also believes there are 3 key times during the day to nap depending on the type of work you do. For example; To increase creativity (9am – 10am), for increase in memory (2pm-4pm) & to increase alertness (12pm-2pm).

Ways in which to monitor sleeping patterns is to purchase a reliable app. I personally prefer ‘Sleep Cycle alarm clock’. This app has not only been considered as the editors choice, but it also provides a lot of practical information to help you identify why you may not be sleeping well enough. 

Sleep Cycle App

With such features as: snoring patterns, sleep quality and the trends per week. I found this app very useful and have adapted my sleeping patterns to ensure the quality of sleep is consistently above 90%. 

It is important to understand that the standard 8 hour sleeping pattern is not for everyone. There are several people who can function just the same on 6 hours. It is also important to understand what works good for you. 

As the business world continues to progress at a fast, dynamic pace, it is becoming ever more important to ensure that our bodies and mind are fully alert and fresh to keep up with the daily demands. If you’re the type of person looking for ways to improve your sleeping habits, try using these hacks and start noticing the difference it makes to your energy, mood, vitality and productivity. 


For more information about how to boost your productivity, please contact us on [email protected] or 79280224.