Ever catch yourself putting the creamer in your work-bag, just to find your phone in the fridge? Or stop yourself right before squirting lotion onto your toothbrush? Or notice that you are searching frantically for the keys you’re holding in your hands?
We do backwards stuff when our sleep needs are starving. Days become more blurred, we miss important people’s birthdays, we lose traction on our goals, and all around, our stride just isn’t on point. Sleep deprivation can take the highest performer down into the fastest loser pile in no time. When we are tired, our mushy brains mush up our actions.
And often we don’t realize how “off” we are until we find our boatload of mistakes the following week, or get the poor feedback we weren’t expecting. Sometimes the degree of our fatigue doesn’t hit us until all of our tired mishaps smash into us …wow I guess I was way more tired than I thought! Maybe I wasn’t coping with exhaustion quite as well as I had presumed. I didn’t realize how much my lack of sleep was crapping out my job performance!
If you are reading this article, you are obviously hungry for sleep in one way or another. So first of all, why are you sleep deprived? What’s your sleep-saboteur? Are you your own sleep-saboteur or is something else to blame?
- Are you having your own episode of Seinfeld’s nighttime Jerry vs daytime Jerry? Is your night-time self a party animal
destructothat pushes the clock just to see how much he/she/x can get away with? …testing your daytime self’s sanity with late-night video games, Netflix-a-thons, miles of thumbing through social-media feeds, or pounding wine with your friend’s delinquent night-time self? If this is the case, the world feels less sorry for you and you kinda know what you need to do…. (read our previous article on motivating yourself out of a rut if you need some guidance). Or…
- Is something else to blame for your sleep exhaustion? Like a bad case of the toss-and-turns, a
nightmaringchild, obnoxiously snoring husband, late-night puppy calls or those bitchy muscles in your back, shoulder or hip again? If this is your case, you have more sympathy coming your way because you might have to roll with the punches during this season in your life.
Do what you can to manipulate any controllable factors, like put on a meditation at night (we have an amazing all-nighter one on our free Ego-Less app!), fill your child’s brain up with happy before they go to bed, tuck your husband in on the nice cozy couch, get a puppy-sitter for the night, or organize a visit your massage therapist – whatever it is, try to make some proactive changes before sleep deprivation takes you further down.
Either way, regardless of why your tired right now – if sleep isn’t an option at this hot second, for today’s sake! sharpen yourself in other ways and prep for a better tomorrow. Make sure to eat healthy good fats, move your body to get your energy circulating, squeeze in a meditation to ground yourself, breathe deeper than normal to oxygenate your body and brain, drink gallons of water to avoid dehydration fatigue, drink some herbal tea, say nice things to yourself for inner encouragement, and all around take extra tender care of yourself.
And as far as surviving work today with minimal performance-impact from sleep deprivation; be sure to listen more than you speak, limit mistakes by limiting multitasking, intend to go with the flow more than usual today, steer clear of drama and work politics, don’t expand your tiredness by focusing on it or talking about it, try to be present while you do the things you do, use mindfulness to help you stay in a consistent gear, and simply do your best with whatever brain function you’ve got.
Quit with the caffeine asap! Plan on unplugging early tonight and cutting out screen time at least two hours before bed so your brain can pump you full of melatonin to zonk you out. Treat yourself to a warm bath, drink some chamomile tea with lemon, grab a non-action book to read, do some stretching – or whatever else helps you chill out. Bump night-time relaxation up to the top of your priority list tonight and you will be back to your peak-performing self again soon.