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Do you find yourself staying up too late at night in order to finish that report, pay the bills, wash the dishes, or even in order have a social life? Do you have trouble falling asleep after running around like crazy after hours? Do you have trouble concentrating at work the next day? Is your personal effectiveness suffering as a result of not getting enough sleep?

Research shows that getting enough sleep is essential to health and productivity. A recent Forbes article details the ways in which lack of sleep can be harmful to health and problematic for performance at work. According to the article, most people get less than the research-recommended 8 hours of sleep at night. This can impair brain function in similar ways to alcohol consumption and can even increase the risk of such serious health problems as cancer and heart attacks.

If you are struggling to maintain your work-life balance, then it might be hard to get to bed on time at night. And for many, being so busy means that it is especially hard to wind down and fall asleep at the end of a long day. It is an unsustainable cycle, because the less sleep you have, the less effective you are, the less you will accomplish in a given day, and the later you will be tempted to stay up to “catch up” on tasks.

So how can you clock more sleep and increase your personal effectiveness during the day? The Forbes article offers the following helpful sleep tips.

12 Sleep Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance

1. “Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.”

2. “Sleep in one continuous block.”

3. “Make up for lost sleep as soon as possible.”

4. “Avoid caffeine after 2:00 p.m.”

5. “Avoid alcohol three hours before bed.”

6. “Exercise between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.”

7. “Keep your bedroom cool.”

8. “Dim the lights.”

9. “Eject electronics.”

10. “Read for pleasure (nothing work-related).”

11. “Protect your privacy.”

12. “Wind down.”

If these tips are not enough to help you catch up on sleep, then maybe you also need to take a closer look at your work-life balance in order to help you make more time for sleep. Can you delegate more during the day? Could you lower your expectations about cleanliness around the house during the week? Can you modify your work hours? Could you let any non-essential activities slide? If you prioritize your time, then you could increase your time sleeping – and your personal effectiveness!

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