Work, rest and sleep – the secret to performance and success

Work, rest and sleep – the secret to performance and success

Space the final frontier. The brilliant words of Captain Kirk in Star Trek. In many ways our brain is like the final frontier and holds far greater power than you might imagine. Certainly, when we go to work we engage and do our best but what if we could do more? Perhaps if we were to engage with the whole of our brain and unconscious we might perform even better.
So what can we do to get more from our brain so that we can outperform what we thought was already our best performance?
Oddly the answer is rest. Stress is key to perform well as long as it is not overdone (being overdone can lead to burnout). The flip side to that is to rest well and sleep well. Sleep is essential to perform well. Sleep has an important impact on what we learn and remember. Being short of sleep can affect our level of self control and impacts on any task where effort and attention are required.
For athletes it is also important as a time for the body to repair, rebuild and heal itself. And therefore it is important for all of us so that we can give of our best.
Where you work napping may be culturally frowned up rather as a source of restoring energy and concentration to see you through the rest of the day. From my own personal experience I can vouch for its effectiveness. In fact research shows it can improve performance, alertness, concentration and judgment. It is so powerful organisations like NASA, Google and Apple actively encourage it and even have “napping” rooms. More stress needs more rest. Studies show too that energy and performance increase following a rest day and the more you are able to rest when off work e.g. at the weekend the more effort you will be able to expend through the week.
It’s perhaps self evident that sleep affects our mood so sleeping well will have a beneficial impact on our mood and a good mood will also enhance our performance.
In summary therefore to perform more and better, then sleep and rest are the key.

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