Do you work while you are sleeping?

Does your mind create furniture layouts while you are trying to rest?

Does your mind play with rearranging colors and shapes, continuously moving into new patterns all night long?

Do you wake up in the middle of the night with the great idea to solve your design challenge of the day and then can’t get back to sleep because you’re thinking about it?

Sleep is an essential part of good health and losing out on the benefits because your head won’t stop designing is a real challenge for many of us.

Good healthy sleep will keep your memory sharp, improve your ability to learn and support your creativity. People who enjoy good sleep live longer, maintain a healthy weight more easily and have lower stress levels.

Obviously we all want healthy sleep in our lives, but many busy designers (including me) are challenged in this area.

So what can you do about it? Here are some tips other designers do to support healthy sleep habits:

#1 Stop working several hours before bedtime. Your body needs time to transition into the sleep mode. Sometimes evening is the only time to get the paperwork done but you must give your body some space to ease into sleep. You will be able to produce your work far more quickly when you have slept well.

#2 If you spent the day trying to figure out a solution to a design problem and your brain is still trying to figure it out while the rest of you wants to sleep… try this:
Tell yourself “I will know the answer in the morning. I don’t have to think about it any more. My subconscious already knows the answer, and when I wake up I will have it.”

#3 When the light bulb goes off in your head and you wake up in the middle of the night with the perfect solution to the design that you have been working on, try writing it down. Keep a pencil and paper at your bedside so that you can easily jot down or draw the idea. Then tell yourself “Now I won’t lose that idea – it will be there in the morning.  I can sleep now.”

#4 Doing your physical workout or yoga in the evening is another way to shut down your busy brain and burn off the stress of the day. When you have focused on your physical body long enough to feel tired, you are more ready to shift into sleep mode.

Try implementing some of these tips into your daily routine and see if you start to improve your healthy sleep.

These tips all come from designers who are dealing with this issue. If you have a good practice that you use to promote sleep or reduce stress, please leave me a note on the blog.  I am always looking for good healthy solutions to share.

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