3 Tips to Conquer Sleep & Jet Lag

Hiya – Jacquie here.  I’ve just returned from a trip to visit my friends and family in the US and … whew it’s been harder than I remember to get back into the swing of things.  So I wanted to take a bit of time this week to talk to you all about the importance of sleep to your health – focusing around jet lag and some ways to relieve it.

First, I know we are all busy entrepreneurs with hectic schedules and it can be hard enough to find the hours in the day to get all our To-Do’s done – let alone get 8 hours of sleep – but it is super important to make sure getting those 7-8 hours of sleep is high on our priority list.  I know this may be impossible for some of you out there (I’m thinking of those of you with small children…I’ve heard it can wreak havoc on your sleep scheduled 😉) but it’s something we should all strive for because it will do wonders for your energy levels and get-sh*t-done-ability!

I’ve never had a problem sleeping and I’m generally an early to bed and early to rise kind of person.  Except when I’m travelling – and normally when I’m traveling east to west (that’s the hardest direction for my body to get used to).  So I know how important sleep is because right now I’m not getting enough of it and I’m suffering as a result and there is definitely not as much sh*t getting done in my world as there needs to be (like writing this blog post at completely the last minute).

Imagine how you would feel if you got 8 hours of sleep every night this week.  Imagine what you could accomplish tomorrow if you woke up feeling refreshed and focused after a full nights sleep.  Imagine all the tasks you could cross off your list if you weren’t falling asleep at your desk or rushing around getting another cup of coffee to artificially boost your energy.

But…I hear you saying…that’s impossible!  You are too busy to sleep.  How will everything get done if you aren’t burning the mid-night oil? Or even worse, how am you supposed to sleep when your body doesn’t know what time it is because you’ve been jetting around the world?

I know it can be tough…but I’ve got a few tips to help you conquor the demon and get on track to long and luxurious night’s of sleep. 

Tip #1 – start slow!!  If you are currently on a schedule where you are so far from 8 hours of sleep a night that you can’t even imagine it – then this isn’t going to happen overnight and I don’t recommend that you go from 2 hours to 8 hours all at once.  Start off slow and see how you can add just 10 more minutes of sleep to your nights this week and then bump up another hour…and take your time over the next few months.  This small improvement every day can make a massive difference.  Imagine if you just add an extra 10 minutes of sleep every week you would add over 8 hours in a year.  That’s right…you can go from 0 to 8+ hours a night in a year with just 10 minutes a week!

Tip #2 – turn off your technology.  At least one hour before you plan to go to sleep turn off the screens (mobiles, computers, tablets, etc).  The light that these gadgets emits messes up your sleep rhythms so your body doesn’t know what time of day it is.  Our bodies know it’s time to go to sleep when it gets dark and our modern lives hide that darkness a lot.  But nothing messes up our flow more than all the technology we are glued to.  Again, this is a tough one so take it slow.  A little bit at a time.

Tip #3 – Take a nap.  This is a big one if you’ve been travelling and are suffering from jet lag.  And I know a lot of people when you land to not sleep and just get on the local time as quickly as possible and definitely NO NAPS.  I’m here to say the exact opposite because travelling is stressful on your body and so is changing time zones.  For me flying from the US to the UK the flight is over night and sure I slept a few hours on the airplane before arriving into Heathrow at 10AM.  Most people would say to stay awake and just get to bed a bit earlier that night.  But I suggest that you have a power nap if you need it.  I know I’m always exhausted when I get home and the more pressure I put on myself to stay awake until 9PM the more likely I am to just crash and take a 3 hour nap and then there is no chance of me sleeping that night.  Instead, give yourself permission to be tired.  Put on your bunny slippers, take care of yourself and give yourself a power nap.  Keep it to around 20 minutes and your body will be thanking you!

Take care of yourselves ladies!!