How to Avoid an Out-of-Whack Sleep Cycle When Unemployed

by Rich DeMatteo on January 17, 2011 · 7 comments

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It really sucks to have a screwed up sleep cycle.  The stress that results is unreal, and  it’s actually a common bad habit that forms when people become unemployed.  Some folks will literally hit the snooze button for hours in the morning, and eventually just set their alarms to go off for a later time.

Why is this bad?

  • Trains your body to wake up later than when you’d need to be up for work
  • Can be detrimental to your diet
  • Hurts job hunting

How do you stop this bad habit from forming?

Set up phone calls, appointments, or networking breakfasts every morning.  Reach out to people in your industry on TwitterFacebook, and Linkedin.  I’ve found that mostly everyone enjoys connecting offline  for 20-30 minutes with their online connections.

If you know you need to wake up around 7AM everyday once you start working, then plan your appointments around 8 or 8:30 each morning.   It’s obviously not easy to make something like this happen everyday, but even just a few times a week will keep your body and mind in a more work friendly sleep cycle.

What I love about this strategy is that it not only helps train your body to wake early, but also is an effective job search method.  You’ll be on the phone with other industry professionals who are either working, looking, or maybe even hiring.

Start off slow if it feels overwhelming.  Plan 2-3 calls per week, 4-5 if you’re aggressive.  Having something to wake up for will give you a ton of energy, and a reason to wake up.

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6 comments
Lauren McCabe
Lauren McCabe

This is such pertinent advice. It's easy to end up in a college sleep cycle when you're job hunting-- I did for a while. like you said, it really helps to start out your day with some scheduled activity-- for me it was yoga, then I hit my favorite coffee shop. I find something to get the heart pumping first thing helps regulate sleep cycles.

Jenna
Jenna

This post is so pertinent! Ha. I've definitely found this is an issue for me because when I don't have anything to get up for, I don't have any reason to go to bed early! Every week gets worse and worse. Sometimes all the processes that go with job searching, networking, etc. are exhausting and discouraging to do every day. I've found scheduling ANYTHING in the morning--not just job search related activities--is helpful. I work out, meet with friends, schedule doctors appointments and anything else I can do early.

Bridget Forney
Bridget Forney

Additionally, some people say the most opportune time to publish a tweet is at 9AM PST to reach people across the globe. And I'll just close with this: The early bird may catch the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. Brilliant and insightful, B

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Lauren - thanks for the comment! I agree, some cardio in the morning or something active can be great in pumping in some energy into the system and restoring the cycle. Thanks!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Jenna - Thanks for the comment and for sharing what has helped you. Good point. It doesn't necessarily need to be job search related, but early morning appointments in anything will help! Thanks for stopping by!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Bridget - I had no idea 9AM PST was the best time to tweet. Thanks for sharing that. We are all just trying to get our worm and cheese. Awesome! Thanks!

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