Alameda County
Bar Association

The Attorney’s Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep 

The Attorney’s Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

It is a common misconception that people need less sleep as they age. Rather, people often require more sleep with age, as the number of REM cycles per night decreases with age, therefore leaving people more tired.  Busy professionals are among the most vulnerable to the effects of not getting enough sleep: often, our bodies become adjusted to less sleep before we realize its debilitating side effects, including irritability, rapid aging, impaired cognitive performance, and of course, increased fatigue. Whether you’re a first-year associate or opening up your own practice, a good night’s sleep is essential for productivity and well-being.

Failsafe Sleep Remedies

Fortunately, professionals can turn to a number of medicinal and non-medicinal sleeping aids to combat fatigue and get enough rest. Conventional sleeping aids are effective but come with a range of side effects with prolonged use, which is why many doctors advise against using sleeping pills on an everyday basis. Many people who struggle to fall asleep use aromatherapy to induce calmness before bedtime. Try using lavender oil at night, shortly before it is time to go to sleep, and jumpstart your morning with a more invigorating oil, such as eucalyptus or peppermint, to feel refreshed.

For professionals, the key to a good night’s sleep is sometimes as simple as setting a cut-off time for checking emails and messages. It’s tempting to use the “down time” in bed before falling asleep to mentally review to-do lists, follow-ups, etc., but this strategy will leave your mind churning with an ongoing list of what’s to come in the next morning. Instead, focus on your breathing and relaxing each muscle in your body. Sleep is one of the precious moments in which maintaining a division between work and home life is essential. Your body will thank you for deeper rest, which will, in turn, aid your productivity.

By Ali Byron