Tips for perfect sleep management

19 September 2011 -


Follow these handy hints for maintaining your energy in the workplace and powering down when necessary

How to manage after a sleepless night

1. Safety first

You’re not fit to drive to work for more than 20 minutes if you’ve had less than four or five hours’ sleep. Don’t risk it.

2. Dodge the dip

There is a natural surge in sleepiness early-/mid-afternoon; grab a coffee to help alleviate this.

3. Power nap

A 15-minute lunchtime snooze will lessen the effects of the afternoon dip.

4. Eat light

There are no diets or foods that are particularly good at promoting alertness; a heavy lunch can cause lethargy.

5. Quaff dodge

Even a small amount of alcohol at lunch will lay you out in the afternoon.

6. No snuggling

Avoid becoming too comfortable and warm in the office.

7. Stretch your legs

Walking or moderate exercise can temporarily relieve sleepiness.

8. Fresh tracks

Have a cup of coffee before driving home.

9. Early night

Get to bed early that evening.

Tips from Professor Jim Horne of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre

How to take a power nap

Schedule a regular time for your nap between 1pm and 3pm.

See whether you can find a quiet space for your nap – perhaps a library, coffee shop or even park bench.

Turn off any distractions, such as phone or pager, and set an alarm for 20 or 30 minutes.

Have a cup of coffee before you settle down – this should ensure you wake up fresh.

Don’t try too hard to fall asleep. Instead, breathe in through your nose to counts of three and out through your mouth to counts of six.

Tips from Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project and Professor Jim Horne

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