Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
No matter how you slice it, sleep is vital in day-to-day activities. Everything from focus to your overall physical health can depend on how many hours of shut-eye you get. Today, I’ll go over why sleep is crucial for writing, whether you’re a blogger or a freelancer.
And although some people are still productive while fighting fatigue, why make things more difficult on yourself?
Why Sleep is Important as a Freelance Writer
Getting enough sleep helps you both physically and mentally. It helps with learning, stress management, cognitive functionality, and memory. You may not realize it, but sleep greatly impacts how your day proceeds.
It’s feasible that your sleep patterns can dictate success in just about anything you try to accomplish.
And speaking from experience, that’s actually quite a bit.
Here are some of the things that are affected by sleep deprivation for a freelance writer or blogger.
Slower Mental Processing Time
First and foremost, a lack of sleep can hinder the performance of your brain. This can lead to a myriad of things such as a lack of cognitive function, reduced short-term memory, and taking longer to process information.
As a freelance writer, this can be ultimately devastating. It would be like a quarterback losing his throwing arm.
Slower Typing Speed and Accuracy
With a lack of sleep also comes a slower physical reaction time. This means the way you type will be directly affected. Keystrokes will be slower and your accuracy will be reduced.
An article that could take you 20 minutes to write may wind up taking twice as long, if not longer.
Difficulty Keeping Focused on Task
One of the things that affect me the most from being tired is a lack of focus. There were times when I read the same instructions from a client repeatedly and still couldn’t focus on what I was doing.
You may also find it more difficult to prevent distractions while writing from home.
Higher Revision Rates from Clients
One of the biggest reasons why I stopped writing at night was because of the volume of revision requests. When I was trying to push through with a lack of sleep, I was far more likely to make mistakes.
This is a culmination of virtually everything in this article, actually. Everything from grammatical errors to missing elements in the job’s description can easily be overlooked when you proofread while tired.
Probably one of the worst immediate things you can suffer from sleep deprivation is the lack of rational thought. Going without sleep can cause irrational decision making, which could hurt your writing career in a myriad of ways.
For instance, you could quit writing for a client in an explosive fit of rage for the simplest of issues. You could even accept lower-paying gigs without realizing until it’s too late.
Never sign a contract when you’re half asleep!
Less Money Made at the End of the Day
With all of the things that a lack of sleep can directly affect, it all boils down to making less money. If you’re writing for content mills, it means fewer articles per day. If you make a lot of mistakes, private clients will find another writer.
In my case, I had to spend more time revising articles instead of getting new writing jobs.
Once I moved to writing in the morning when my mind was fresh, I literally doubled my income.
7 Ways to Get More Sleep at Night
Throughout my entire freelance writing career, a lack of sleep has been the most pronounced issue. Most of this has to do with stress at home and a few other personal problems over the years.
But in every instance, I find that I am far more productive and make more money on the days when I actually have a good night’s rest.
What can you do to get a bit more sleep at night?
- Get into a sleep routine
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Watch what you eat
- Don’t try to stay awake
- Try some Sleepytime Tea
- Relax and unwind before bed
- Get a comfortable bed
1. Get Yourself on a Sleep Routine
A good sleep routine includes everything from planning when you’ll sleep to making sure you can wind down at night. For me, I try to make sure I am in bed at 9:30 pm so that I can get up at 6:00 am the next morning.
It doesn’t always work out that way. But, I try to stick to a routine that helps me get the optimal time in bed. For adults, this means sleeping for 7 to 9 hours per night.
2. Reduce Caffeine or Other Stimulant Use
Another obvious way to get more sleep is to reduce caffeine and stimulant intake. I find that cutting off coffee and pop at 6:00 pm works best. This gives the caffeine plenty of time to run its course.
At that time, I usually switch to flavored water or non-caffeinated teas.
3. Watch What You Eat for Dinner
According to experts, eating heavy at night can disrupt your sleeping patterns. A lot of this has to do with digesting your food. For instance, heavy meals can lead to various issues such as heartburn and indigestion.
I can’t count the number of times my dinners kept me up at night. This is part of why I started to focus more on physical health. It was affecting my job.
4. Don’t Force Yourself to Stay Awake
Children try to force themselves to stay awake as they fear they’re going to miss something. And many of these children will carry that same mindset with them into adulthood.
I know I do.
I used to push myself to stay awake because I was watching a show or because I was playing a game. But in reality, all of these things can easily be done the next day.
5. Try Some Sleepytime Tea
One of the things that works exceptionally well for me is drinking some Sleepytime Tea with Echinacea. The Celestial Seasonings Complete Care tea will knock me out for hours at a time.
In fact, I doubled the dose once and slept for a solid 10 hours! Don’t do that.
For me, the tea helps improve the quality of my sleep. It’s not an instant, knock-you-out type of drink. But, it will help improve the way you rest at night.
6. Make Sure to Relax and Destress Before Bed
And lastly, do your best to relax and unwind before heading off to bed. Stress can keep you up and prevent you from actually falling asleep.
I know that I’ve spent many a night with my eyes open for several hours at a time. This is part of why I started drinking the Sleepytime Tea.
At any rate, find ways that will help you relax. Stay away from digital media, turn off the TV, and do what you can to limit how much information your mind processes before going to bed.
7. Get a Comfortable Bed
One of my biggest issues as of late is sleeping on what I call a brick. The mattress is incredibly too hard for me, and it winds up keeping me up while causing various joints to hurt in the morning.
A comfortable place to sleep is ideal if you want a decent amount of rest. Otherwise, you can feel groggy and it becomes more difficult to remain focused and motivated.
And yes, it’s on my list of things to buy in the near future.
Sleep Is Very Important to Success
Contrary to the belief of some, a lack of sleep can greatly hinder your success. Not everyone can get four hours of sleep and expect to be ready to take on the day.
In fact, statistically, you’re more likely to have any of the issues above.
Try to get a good amount of downtime for yourself. It could mean the difference when it comes to landing a high-paying client.
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