Ahh, to sleep, perchance to dream. It's safe to say we all want to have a prosperous, joyful 2013: in our families, communities and workplaces. One of the clearest trends I noticed among my clients in 2012 was an increased awareness of how important pacing and balance have become. We need strategies that help us sustain our energy and brainpower, so that we can continue to work smarter, learn quickly, and focus our attention on the things that have the highest value.
According to the National Institutes of Health, one of our biggest obstacles to performance is that we are not getting enough zzzz's; 50 to 70 million Americans have sleep problems. Sleep deprivation has serious consequences, not only on our moods and physical health, but also our cognitive function.
Harvard School of Medicineís Division of Sleep published several studies in 2012 that indicate poor quality sleep leads to an increase in errors at the workplace, decreased productivity, and accidents that cost both lives and resources. It also steals our ability to learn: when we are sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance drift, making it more difficult to receive information.