Springing Forward And Coping!

Early  Sunday morning, we will move our clocks forward one hour.  As I do this, I will think about how this lost hour of sleep is going to affect me and my Monday! By then, I will feel exhausted.  I’m yawning just typing this.

But this year, in order to avoid any sleepless drama I’m going to plan ahead.  Daylight Saving Time will not get the best of me, and I encourage you to also plan ahead and try the following:

Make a to-do list on Friday at work to hold yourself accountable to completing tasks before you leave for the day.  This will mean entering the weekend relaxed and not worried about how your “lost hour” will affect your Monday workload.

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to fall asleep try eating cornflakes, French bread, or jelly beans.  According to Reader’s Digest, if eaten about four hours before you go to bed these foods and a list of others will help you fall asleep in about half the time you normally do.

Wake an hour earlier on Saturday.  You’re not losing this hour of sleep until Sunday, but by waking a little earlier you will get to take advantage of the day.  Hopefully this will also leave you tired earlier in the evening so you’ll have a good night’s sleep.

Get some sun! Go for a bike ride or jog and soak in the some rays early in the day.  The sun will help reset your body clock and the physical activity should help you to relax better at night. Be sure to drink a lot of water and avoid caffeine later in the day so you can get to sleep and wake up on Sunday feeling refreshed.

Lastly, it’s the weekend so don’t feel guilty about taking a nap.  I know I won’t.  But avoid taking the nap too late in the day or for too long.  A short 20 minute nap should leave you refreshed and energized.

How do you cope with “springing ahead” each year?

TGIF: Sleeping On The Job

No one is immune.

Vice President Joe Biden may have been meditating during a recent economic address delivered by his boss, but it sure looked like he was catching some z’s. In a more serious incident, a Nevada air traffic controller was caught snoozing on the job, the third such incident in  less than two months.

Sleep seems to be the new sex. And no one’s getting enough. One of my most memorable new business pitch meetings involved an executive – in the first row, no less – who actually began to snore softly during our PR presentation. My only response was to gradually raise my voice, in the hope of waking him before everyone else noticed, but I ended up shouting at the rest of the group, with no impact whatever on the snoozer. But we did win the business.

Thank goodness that for most of us, drifting off on the job is a career hazard, but not a public safety one. In our sleep-deprived culture, most of us manage to stay awake with plenty of caffeine, work breaks, or, sheer will power. But, there’s evidence that we have the wrong attitude towards sleeping at work. Apparently major companies like Google, Nike, and Procter & Gamble have instituted policies that allow staff downtime while in the office.

Researcher Sara C. Mednick makes a lively case for napping on the job in her book, “Take a Nap! Change Your Life!”  In fact, she believes it could be a competitive advantage, resulting in better memory, increased productivity and reduced illness and absenteeism.

That’s good enough for me. I say, naps for everyone! What about your workplace? Is there a chance for a sleep-at-work policy? Wake me in a half hour and let me know.