If you’ve always believed that tech geeks are more prone to insomnia or get less sleep than other professionals, you may be on to something. Any industry where the workers are passionate and operate with the creative juices flowing is a prime arena for poor sleep habits.
Many tech geeks rely on caffeine to work through the night. They get so caught up in projects that they rate sleep as low priority. If you do this, and think you’ve reached a point where you’re incredibly efficient on little to no sleep, that’s just your body hanging on in survival mode.
Getting quality sleep is important for every person, but especially for those in technical industries who are prone to skimping on sleep in favor of work or play. Start by sticking to a bed routine, avoid screens of any kind for at least two hours before bed (tough for geeks, I know), and make sure your magnesium levels are adequate.
Nutrition deficiencies, not enough exercise, and too much stimulation can all mess with your sleep schedule.
Practice good hygiene
While it might be a stereotype that geeks are the cleanest of professionals, the real issue is “sleep hygiene.” Just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower, there’s a best way to sleep and a worst way.
Sleep hygiene means adjusting your habits and environment to optimize your sleep. Adults needs at least seven hours of quality sleep (emphasis on quality) each night in order to be their most productive.
It’s tough in the tech industry, because there are so many stories of geniuses coming up with revolutionary discoveries on nothing but an hour’s sleep and a six-pack of Mountain Dew. These are the exceptions, and they’re very rare.
These leaders are touted as special, because they seem barely human terms of their sleep habits, but theirs is not a good behavior to model.
Give it a fair shot
Investing in a quality mattress and heavier curtains, changing your usual pre-bed routine, and making other big changes isn’t going to come easily. If your body is used to a lack of sleep, it’s going to be shocked at first. Give your new approach at least 30 days and see if you notice a difference.
Geeks are the driving force behind many healthy lifestyles, but don’t neglect yourself in the process. A good night’s rest can do wonders for brain function, physical health, and emotional health. You need to be your best geek in order to come up with the next code language, gizmo, or software program.