It’s bad for your health. If nothing else can persuade you, then consider getting more sleep for the good of your health. Lack of sleep increases your stress level and is linked to a variety of serious conditions including heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes. Getting enough sleep doesn’t just make you feel better, it is essential to maintaining a healthy body and mind.Here are some things that you can do every day to improve your sleep hygiene in order to get more and a better quality of sleep:
Reduce your caffeine intake. That little kick that opens your eyes in the morning also makes you toss and turn at night. At the very least, limit your caffeine intake to before lunchtime.
Develop a consistent routine. When you go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, your body receives the cue and begins to crave sleep at that time. Work with your body’s natural rhythms instead of against them.
Put your computer down. When the sun sets and the rest of the world starts to wind down, you should also let yourself relax. Working or job searching late at night keeps your mind active when it should be getting ready to rest. If it’s night time and you’re still tapping away at your computer, keep in mind that you probably won’t actually get to sleep for an hour or two after you stop working.
Meditate. Mindful meditation can help you quiet your mind and relax. People who practice it report lower levels of stress and are able to get to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer.
When you’re not working and don’t necessarily need to get up in the morning, there can be a temptation to stay up late and sleep during the day. However, if you are serious about your job search, you need to kick that habit. It is important that you are well rested, and that you are up and active during normal business hours. Looking for a job is difficult enough; you have to give yourself every advantage that you can get.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)