Some of us really look tired all of the time.   Are you one of the tired masses? Dark circles under the eyes.  Trouble focusing.  Dragging from place to place.  Falling asleep at the computer.  Nearly dosing off at red lights.  Getting home at night but not remembering anything about the drive home.  Difficulty remembering the day’s events.  Does any of this sound familiar?  Are you tired of being tired?  I know I am.

Well, studies continue to show that we are more productive when we are well rested.  And yet, many of us think that our schedules are working.  So, what can we do to get more rest so that we can be more productive (get more done)?

Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and one of the busiest guys around, recommends seven action steps for getting more rest.  I’ve included them here for your consideration, along with a few of my own at the bottom.  Read on…

Here’s how I (Michael Hyatt) make sure I get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Avoid caffeinated drinks in the evening. When I was younger, I could drink coffee after dinner. No more. I cannot drink caffeine after 4:00 p.m.
  2. Eliminate all negative input. I am a worrier by nature. If I watch or talk about anything negative after about 6:00 p.m., I will stew on it all night.
  3. Go to bed on time. This is huge. I have to be strict with myself. For me, this means no later than 10:00 p.m., unless it’s a weekend.
  4. Make sure the room is dark. We have blinds on the windows that cut out 95 percent of the outside light.
  5. Keep the temperature cool. In the winter, we keep it at about 68°. In the summer, about 70°. I sleep more soundly if the room is cool enough to require a blanket.
  6. Listen to relaxing music. This doesn’t work for everyone, but I listen to the same exact music every night. It’s become an audio queue that says to my subconscious mind and body, “It’s time to go to sleep now.”
  7. Run a fan. The “white noise” mutes outside noise and puts me to sleep. When I am on the road, I loop “Ambient White Noise for Sleep,” which I downloaded from iTunes.

To Michael’s list, I would also like to add a few more action steps:

8. Get a good pillow. Everyone has different tastes here, and that’s okay, but you really need a pillow suited for the way you sleep.  Back, side, and stomach sleepers all need different pillows.  I just got a new pillow from Ikea.  It’s amazing.  You spend a good portion of your day in bed so make sure you have good stuff, and replace it when needed.

9. Get a good bed. Like #8, this one varies person to person, but if you’re bed is saggy in the middle or if you’ve had it since the 3rd grade, it’s probably time for an upgrade.  Like I said earlier, you spend between a quarter and half of your life in bed…get a good one!

10. Get a CPAP machine. Some individuals will never get a good night’s rest until they get a CPAP machine to regulate their breathing.  If you snore badly and wake yourself up in the middle of the night because of it, you might be a candidate.  Go take part in a sleep study to find out.

So Questions:

How much do you average a night?
How important is sleep to you?
Can you add to this list?