It’s time to love yourself… (and get some more sleep)

Our business psychologist and executive coach, Sara Duxbury, who after having an epiphany of her own is challenging us to change our mindset on how we view sleep.

With those new year’s resolutions becoming a faded memory and Valentine’s Day arriving tomorrow, it seems the perfect opportunity to focus on giving yourself some love… and maybe getting some more sleep. The latest sleep stats research tells us that since 1985, the percentage of adults getting on average less than six-hours sleep per night has increased by 31%, compared to 1910 when we used to get a snooze-tastic nine-hours per night.

Sometimes when we are setting our new year goals, we’re focusing on breaking bad habits or creating new ones. We can forget to reflect on the simple things – do I eat the right stuff? Do I move enough? Do I get enough sleep? We can forget to look after the basics to give us a solid foundation on which to pursue more complex goals. Now, it turns out I was the last person to lecture anyone about getting more sleep, towards the end of last year I was finding myself feeling a little demotivated and struggling with goal-setting generally. I decided to go back to basics and conduct a sleep study on myself. My thinking being if I was getting ‘enough’ sleep then I could progress on from there (I do understand a study comprising one participant and a fitbit sleep tracker does present some validity challenges!). The results were surprising – I was sleeping on average four to five-hours a night over the whole week.

The psychologist in me was naturally intrigued to learn how this could be impacting me, and the coach in me was already identifying clients in my coaching practice who might benefit from exploring the same. It turns out I’m not alone in dealing with sleep deficit, a 2005 survey from the National Sleep Foundation found that 75% of adults have at least one symptom of a sleep problem (insomnia, waking during the night, snoring, a partner with a sleep disorder). But we’ve all been there, a couple of nights of interrupted sleep…in the middle of conference season, prepping for a big presentation or that summer holiday to Ibiza. We seem to accept that having to deal with poor sleep at some point is inevitable and unavoidable, we might even convince ourselves that our sleep habits are ok?

Here are some of the most common sleep myths according to the Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep:

Sleep is essential to your health, well-being and success, which means you need to think about how you will get the sleep your body needs. Otherwise, you won’t receive the full benefit of the other changes you want to make, effectively failing to protect your sleep is the equivalent of drawing the Do Not Pass Go card in Monopoly.

What could make a difference:

So, I challenge you to choose to love yourself a little more and get some more sleep. It might change your life. (Thanks to my coaching clients and my Twitter #tribe for sharing their own sleepiness to inform this blog.)

If you think it’s time you overhauled your self-care routine, get in touch with Sara via email or give her a call 01625 526979