Falling asleep over your morning e-mails or downing multiple cups of coffee isn’t the most efficient way to improve your work productivity when you’re exhausted.

When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re more likely to have a shorter attention span and memory issues, whereas a solid night of rest will improve your memory, detox your brain, and make you a happier person.

Therefore, if you know you have an important week at work coming up, one of the best ways to prepare yourself is by getting a good night sleep every night.

You can start by figuring out what your basal sleep need is; while eight hours is the commonly accepted number, it might be more or less for you individually (Albert Einstein slept 10 hours every night, while Thomas Edison only slept 3-4 hours a night).

To find your basal sleep need, set your alarm for the time that you want to wake up every day and go to bed at your normal time.

The next day, pay attention to your body; if you’re tired, go to sleep 15 minutes earlier that night.

Repeat this process until you’re able to wake up feeling well-rested without an alarm- you’ll then have your basal sleep need.

You should also make sure that you’re preparing for bed correctly.

For example, end your exercise three hours before you go to bed, and turn off your electronics an hour before bed (no checking work e-mails last minute!).

Some light reading thirty minutes before bed can make you drowsy as well.

Finally, evaluate your sleep schedule.

Most Westerners follow a monophasic sleep schedule, sleeping for a single period of time for around 7-8 hours a night, but you might also explore segmented sleep (if you go to bed early and enjoy a productive hour or two during the middle of the night) or an afternoon siesta (if you have a flexible work schedule that allows you to take a 20-30 minute nap).

Getting a good night’s sleep is the first step to improving your health- and your chances of getting that promotion!

Sleep Smarter, Not Longer