- Everett Collection
About twice a week, I take my job to bed with me.
As I lay under my warm covers, cats purring softly at my side, my mind is still at the office working. I’m revising notes or planning new projects in my head, even though my body is desperately trying to fall asleep.
And once I do manage to fall asleep, I often find myself having job-related nightmares. A recurring one starts out with me in high school and I suddenly realize I’m all grown up and very late for work.
Strategies like drinking decaffeinated tea and reading novels before bed (as opposed to watching TV or playing Words With Friends) haven’t helped. Sure, I could ask my doctor to prescribe me pills, but the problem isn’t a daily occurrence and I’d rather handle this without medical intervention.
Counting sheep, by the way, also doesn’t work. I’ve literally tried picturing the farm animals jumping over a moon, just like in cartoons, out of desperation. Yep, I’ll try just about anything to avoid watching the clock go tick, tick, tick all night long.
At least I’m not alone. Only 42% of 1,500 Americans polled last year by the National Sleep Foundation said they get a good night’s sleep every night or almost every night.
The poll didn’t ask why respondents sometimes struggle to get a decent amount of rest. I’m pretty sure that in my case, an obsession with my job—or “workaholism”—is to blame for keeping me up.
Fortunately, the problem is just limited to days when I’m in the midst of big assignments with looming deadlines. Unfortunately, I’m on deadline a lot.
If only the work I was getting done in my head were real, I’d be way ahead of my peers. But instead, there are days when my lack of sleep makes it tough to concentrate in the day—at least until my morning caffeine kicks in.
Readers, does your job keep you up at night? What’s your best strategy for getting a decent amount of rest when you’ve got work the brain?