About 1 in 10 adults in the United States get insufficient sleep most nights, and for freelancers and people working from home, grabbing sleep might be even harder than you think. The competitive nature of the gig economy drives some people to work more than they should, even when your bed is just feet away. A lot of self employed remote workers get used to working hard while simultaneously ignoring the signs that they’re overtired and sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation can impact your work quality, personal happiness and even your health. Watching for the signs that you’re overtired and making changes to your sleep schedule can help you be healthier and happier. Getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night might even boost your performance so you can make more money! Here’s what you need to know.
Signs You’re Overtired
You have trouble focusing. Sleep deprivation makes focusing difficult – whether you’re trying to focus on a line of code, on a conversation or on an article you’re writing. When you’re overtired, your attention span becomes shorter and thinking becomes harder.
You’re making simple mistakes. You might type your computer password incorrectly 5 times in a row, incorrectly add up small numbers, or dial the wrong phone number when calling a client. When you’re sleep deprived, these mistakes become more common and easier to make.
You’re forgetting tasks and deadlines. Sleep deprivation can cause bloodflow problems, which in turn can affect brain health and memory. You’ll start to forget things – from your spouse’s birthday, to your afternoon client touch-base.
What You Can Do
There are many things you can do to prevent deprivation. Working in the gig economy, a lot of your sleep trouble could be coming from the temptation to work too much. Setting a regular schedule and sticking to it makes it easier to fit in other personal needs, like sleeping.
Many freelancers over schedule because saying yes to more projects means making more money. Avoid over scheduling. Know how much you can finish in your set work hours, and prioritize getting down time every day.
Take mental breaks in the evenings. Make the conscious effort to stop thinking about work and to stop worrying about deadlines. Consider yoga or meditation to help clear your mind. This will lead to better quality sleep overall.
Why Is It Important to Get Enough Sleep?
You can’t take care of anyone else unless you can first take care of yourself. Sleep deprivation is likely to make you cranky, unproductive, depressed, stressed and unhappy. Without proper sleep, you could lose the drive to do work, which in turn could lead to less money made and more stress at home. Your personal relationships may suffer, and your health could suffer as well.
It’s important to get uninterrupted, restful sleep because you and other members of your household are relying on your ability to continue working and functioning in order to make the money that pays the bills. Never underestimate the power of sleep and how it could help you meet your goals.
About the Author: Kathryn Elwell grew up in the Midwest. She has experience in management and human resources, and has been writing on these topics and more for 12 years.