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How to Avoid Killing your Career from Sleep Deprivation

You need adequate sleep to perform well physically and mentally. During a full cycle of sleep, your brain cleans out toxic proteins (by-products of neural activity). When you don’t get enough sleep, these toxic proteins make their home in your brain and impair judgement, decision-making skills, increase irritability, impair the immune system, among many other harmful effects.

These negative side effects hinder your productivity and success at work. In order to be your best, you need to feel your best. According to the National Sleep Foundation, half of Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. Avert killing your career from sleep deprivation by following these three tips:

Avoid sleeping pills—Medication disrupts your natural sleep pattern and alters the brain’s process. Instead of archiving the day’s memories, sleeping pills discard the memories and cause elaborate dreams. This is harmful because you won’t fully remember or quickly recall the day’s events and things you learned. Furthermore, it is easy to become dependent upon sleeping pills. Instead, try drinking warm milk, chamomile tea and eating a banana. All of those jumpstart natural sleeping hormones.

Stay away from blue light—Sometimes, it feels like we can’t escape the blue light. The blue light from our computer screen, our smartphone screen, our tablet screen, even our T.V. screen greatly affects our natural sleep pattern by telling our brains that it’s daytime. That’s why it may be so easy to stay up watching Netflix; your brain thinks it’s only the afternoon. Instead, stay away from blue light or download an app that filters the light and naturally dims it according to the time of day, so that your brain knows to go to sleep.

Don’t binge sleep—Have you ever slept in until noon because you needed to “catch up on your sleep?” Well, there’s no such thing as “catching up” on sleep. Your body has a natural circadian rhythm that becomes disrupted by getting too much sleep. If you sleep 10 or more hours on Saturday, it throws your cycle off. It carries over into the week, and you actually feel more groggy and less productive. Plan out your week to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night; you’ll feel your best and be the most productive.