Staying up late to finish that blog post could be doing more harm than good

By Sasha Peakall

It’s the middle of the night, your eyes are heavy but you are pushing through it, you just have to get this one blog post finished.  

You hit publish, “Thank God, now you can actually sleep.”

The next day you share that blog post on social media, then you reread it and realise that OOPS, there are A LOT of grammar and spelling mistakes. Or worse, someone points out your mistakes in the comments or on social media. You’re mortified!

As a blogger it is easy to fall into the habit of sacrificing precious hours of sleep to work on your blogs especially if it’s not your full time job and you only have the mornings, nights and weekends to work on it. 

You find yourself working well into the night again and again and then feeling like rubbish the next day, tired and with no energy for anything. 

Now while those late nights blogging seem to be a productive use of time, after all, it may be the only time you have, did you know that a lack of sleep could really effect the quality of your blog? 

We’ve all heard the experts say that adults should get 7.5-9 hours sleep per night.  Now while it may seem like your brain’s having a holiday when you’re sleeping, in fact it’s working harder then ever to repair and rejuvenate your body and mind.

Without the required hours of good quality sleep you lose your ability to focus (in other words you’re more likely to get distracted on social media rather than focusing on the post you’re working on). You’re more likely to make spelling and grammar mistakes and generally struggle with stringing a good sentence together. 

Lack of sleep is a killer for motivation and effects our ability to access our higher-level cognitive functions aka those really important brain mechanisms that help you with thinking, reasoning, learning, remembering and creativity.

Now lets take a moment to imagine that you are getting the full 7.5-9 hours of quality sleep a night, you would transform into productivity and creative machine, and quite possibly a genius!

But how when you have been living in the negative pattern of lack of sleep do you get back into a better routine?

Well, follow these 5 tips and you will find yourself sleeping better and waking up earlier giving you time to work on your blog during the most productive time for your brain, the morning.

1. Give Your Bedroom a Makeover

If you have been using electronic devices in your bed or just generally have not been sleeping well in that bed for a long time then chances are your brain does not associate your bed with going to sleep.  If you give your bedroom a makeover, change the position of the bed, de-clutter and change up the décor, your bedroom will feel like a whole new room.  This essentially tricks the brain into thinking it’s a new room and it becomes much easier to fall into a new, healthier sleep pattern. 

2. Get Some Exercise in the Late Afternoon

Getting off your office chair or your sofa and just going for a 30 minute walk can do wonders for your sleep. When you exercise a chemical is released in your brain that accumulates throughout the day helping you to get to sleep at night. 

Walking or gentle exercise also releases tension in the muscles and the mind that allows for clearer thinking and a better nights sleep. 

3. Stop Working at Least 2 hours Before Bed

What happens when you’re working? Well your brain is running at a million miles and hour with a million ideas running through it. If you go to bed straight from working then all these thoughts will still be running through your head and your brain will just be too active to sleep.

Instead, stop doing anything related to work at least 2 hours before bed (and yes this means `checking social media). Instead do something calming that doesn’t require a lot of thinking like meditation, or reading a trashy novel or watching a sitcom.  

4. Do Not Take Electronic Devices to Bed

Electronic devices with all their apps and the only clock in your house have a knack of seducing you into letting them go to bed with you. But, taking your electronic devices to bed is the worse possible thing you can do for your sleep. 

The white electronic glow of the screens and all that fun stuff you can do on them over stimulates the brain making it impossible to fall asleep. Ideally you shouldn’t even have them in bedroom and if you do need an alarm clock, an old fashion analog clock will suffice, people used them for decades without running late! 

5. Wear an Eye Mask to Bed

Any light even if it’s just a tiny stream coming from the streetlights through the gap in your curtains can stimulate the brain and make it difficult to sleep. Wearing an eye mask will keep you in the pitch black your brain needs to sleep. If you make wearing a eye mask part of your bed time ritual than just the act of putting on the mask will tell the brain your ready to sleep and trigger your slumber. 

If you change your habits and start getting really good quality sleep you will wonder how on earth you ever functioned without it!  Your blog will only benefit from your newly discovered productivity, energy, creativity and clarity.   

Sasha Peakall quit her well paying tourism Marketing Management job, moved to Vang Vieng, Laos and started her own business helping female solopreneurs run successful businesses without all the overwhelm and stress.  She is a Wellness Coach in training and believes that your wellness is your biggest business asset. Sasha is also a Yoga Teacher and Co-founder and director of Non-profit organization Hand Up Laos

You can learn the secrets and tools she uses to overcome overwhelm and stress in her business and hectic life by downloading her FREE Overwhelm Buster Toolkit here. You can connect with Sasha on Facebook, Instagram  and Twitter.