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An Effective Practice for a Successful Lawyer: Good Sleep

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It is not unusual for an attorney to wake up in the middle of the night with case briefs or filing deadlines on the mind. It happens to the healthiest of lawyers. Once in a while is fine, but not so much if it becomes a nightly habit. Sometimes legal professionals need to be reminded that loss of sleep, especially long-term, is never a good work habit.

Additionally, most doctors state that a loss of sleep can be a warning sign that may be an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. It could also mean that you are overworked. Either way, before it affects your productivity as an attorney and your health it needs to be addressed and resolved.

Why Sleep is Vital to Lawyering

A good night’s sleep is free and the most effective way to be the most productive attorney.

Here is why: Lack of sleep can cause any person to have reduced attention spans, brain fog and become easily irritated. While this can affect anyone’s performance at work, it can be career ending for an attorney.

Regularly sleeping less than seven hours a night can result in “adverse health outcomes, including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression and increased risk of death,” according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. aasm.org  

How to Get a Healthy Sleep Pattern

Once you have ruled out serious physical or emotional problems with your doctor, you can take steps to create a better sleeping routine. It really starts and ends with a state of mind. Instead of viewing as something that is getting in the way of completing your work, see for what it is—an aid in helping you perform at your best. Here are some steps you can incorporate to help you get a good night’s rest:

  • Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and guided imagery.
  • Choose a relaxing activity, such as reading, right before bedtime.
  • Choose comfortable bedding including the bed, sheets and pillow.
  • Choose natural, alternative sleeping aids to avoid an addiction to sleeping drugs.
  • Maintain a steady sleep and waking schedule to avoid disruption of your sleep cycle.
  • Create a sleeping diary to help you clear your mind and keep a record of your sleep pattern.

Although sleep deprivation is a serious problem, there are many resources and organizations you can discover on the Internet that can help you back on track and resolve any sleep deficiencies rather easily.

More helpful advice and tips on overcoming sleep deprivation can be found at sleepfoundation.org

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