If you've been reading my articles for a while, then you probably have heard me talk about World Sleep Day before.
I enjoy it every year as it's a chance to raise awareness of all the health, life stlye and career-related issues around our sleep quality.
Each year's World Sleep Day has a theme to focus on, and 2020's is 'Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet.'
For me, this makes me think about the wider issues of living in a way that's sustainable to the health of the whole population.
If you are based in London, join us for my free talk at the Barbican Library at lunchtime on 11th March 2020.
The title of this talk is 'How To Overcome Insomnia And Other Sleep Problems'.
During this 60 minute interactive talk, I will educate you about sleep and particularly what you can do when bouts of insomnia or sleep issues impact your life.
We will go through the basics about sleep and sleep cycles, the common misconceptions about insomnia and other sleep problems as well as the 7 areas of life that are affecting your sleep on a daily basis.
Registration for this event is now closed.
Of course I will be actively involved again this year, on March 13th, and I want to start early by talking about a few key areas of taking care of your sleep and therefore your health in a sustainable way.
Our body clocks love routine
If you are in a working role that requires early starts or late nights, then one way to minimise some of the tiredness that may cause is to build yourself a routine.
This isn't so much about creating strict rules for yourself, but rather about giving your body the consistency it craves.
Whether you consider yourself an early bird or a night owl (or even if your work pushes you into one category or another), you can build your own personalised routine around those work or travel requirements.
A key reason that routine is important is that your body has a circadian rhythm which regulates cell repair, your immune system, and your hormone levels.
It isn't so important what time you go to bed, that's really a personal decision. It's more important that you keep that bedtime about the same each night to help your body do what it needs to do to keep you healthy.
Listen to your moods and energy levels
Considering this year's theme for World Sleep Day is 'Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet' - I feel it's relevant to talk about your happiness!
If your work and routines are making you tired and miserable, then it isn't sustainable long term.
We all know the risks of burning out, but just to remind you, nobody is immune!
When your energy levels and mood are low, it's a sign there is something off. Pay attention to your daily routine and your daily balance. A few small changes now could save you a lot of trouble further down the track.
Learn to spot a viscious cycle
Here's a fun fact for you. When you're well rested you make better decisions. When you are tired, you make poorer, more impulsive decisions, including what to do about your tiredness!
It's not hard to see how quickly this can spiral out of control.
Many of us on a tired day will feel the pressure to push on through it by propping ourselves up with caffeine, sugar and unhealthy fats. This in turn sets off a cascade of other reactions in your body, keeping you up later into the night (or waking you in the early hours), resulting in more tiredness the next day.
So thinking back to the World Sleep Day topic of living better and more sustainably, let's all remember that good choices and high productivity begin with self care - and that means looking after our bodies and sorting out our sleep routines.
Poor sleep, tiredness and unhealthy choices are a vicious cycle.
So just keep that in mind and see it coming before it gets to you. A few healthy choices now will prevent much wasted time and energy later on. Keep an eye on my social media for more tips and facts next month for World Sleep Day.
P.S. If you would like to look at a couple of World Sleep Day topics from previous years, then take a look here: Sleep and Aging, World Sleep Day 2019 and Sleep Disorders and Insomnia, World Sleep Day 2018.