Sleep like a Baby despite Job Burnout

Sleep better

The 7:07 am train was pulling out of Penn Station, and I had to be there for my 1.5 hour commute.

I was living in New York City at the time and struggling to get out bed in the morning to go to work.

To get to sleep, I wore a large sleep mask, ear plugs, and had an extra thick duvet in a cold room.

The conditions were perfect for sound sleeping, but I just couldn’t get to sleep.

Then the next morning, it was impossible to get out of bed.

It wasn’t sustainable, but thankfully I eventually had an insight that helped me get a much better night’s sleep…

You Don’t Have to Overcome Job Burnout to Sleep Well

Overcoming your burnout is great, but it can take time.

The good news is that you don’t have to overcome your job burnout to sleep soundly at night.

When you’ve got job burnout, it’s crucial that you get a good night’s rest so you get:

  • Boosted Energy – It takes energy to overcome burnout and if you’re dragging all day then it’s much tougher to make it through without blowing your lid or sinking farther in burnout.
  • Increased Creativity – When your more well-rested you think more creatively which is helpful in coming up with ideas to overcome obstacles at work and dreaming up new possibilities for your job.
  • Extra Efficiency– You’re faster and more efficient when you’ve gotten a good night’s rest.  This helps you work through your job burnout much faster and with less frustration.

Job Burnout Changes Your Mindset on Sleep

Before I had job burnout, I never had a problem sleeping so I never realized what it was like being tired all day.

When you’ve got job burnout, sleep is nice reprieve from work and you might even find yourself cherishing it.

So when I started struggling, I became really interested in how to get a better nights rest even when things aren’t going well at work.

You realize how valuable and essential it is to your normal function.

Also your conversations with co-workers start changing.

When you’ve got burnout and getting no sleep things even the smallest things at work can seem like a major catastrophe.

You find yourself exploding because the coffee pot wasn’t refilled,  the water cooler is left empty, or you’ve got another corporate training to attend.

You become shorter with them and increasing more defensive or even offensive on topics like who’s the next Bachelor going to be or who should have made the Final Four.

You find yourself in such a sleep state that you drive to the nearest Starbucks multiple times per day for a super powerful caffeine blast.

How Job Burnout Impacts your Sleep

When you’ve got job burnout you often can’t get to sleep and then when you finally do, it’s a monumental task just to get out of bed in the morning.

Maybe your mind can’t quiet down at night and the wheels keep turning.

Often there’s a reoccurring pattern or story that your mind’s cycling through like:

  • Rehashing the events of the day over-and-over and beating yourself up about what you “should have done” so things would have gone differently at the office.
  • Anxiety about events that are coming up the next day, which is just general worry about possible things that may or may not happen
  • Worried about the fact that you can’t sleep, which leads to more sleeplessness (my personal favorite).  There’s nothing like losing sleep over losing sleep.

Job Burnout Makes you Seriously Tired

Job burnout affects on sleep


When you’ve got burnout it makes you tired.

It seems like everything takes more energy, and it can leave your tank on empty and craving more sleep.

You find yourself considering sleeping in the strangest places.

The makes it dangerous to board any train at any time because you might just find yourself sleeping through your stop and ending up in a random neighborhood in Jersey and then having to call your spouse to come get you.

I once had a friend that was so exhausted that when she was out to dinner with her in-laws she actually feel asleep in the bathroom stall with her head on the toilet paper roll.

Job Burnout Affects your Sleep Routine

Despite being tired from your job burnout, it’s hard to get to sleep because of the impact on your routine.

I used to joke that after 3 good sleepless nights the 4th night you’re sure to sleep like a baby.

However, when you’ve got job burnout that’s not really true.

You probably find yourself napping here and there, which really throws off your routine.

When your sleepy you don’t feel as hungry and you start skipping works out just to get a moments rest.

The problem becomes that good nutrition and an exercise routine actually helps you sleep better.

When you start getting your routine off it just becomes a cycle of tiredness and exhaustion.

Your circadian rhythms get off track, and it all starts to look like the video from the REM Daysleeper video…gray, depressing, and no fun what so ever (you can check the video out below).

How to Sleep Well with Your Job Burnout

You just have try a few new tactics to get into a blissful sleep experience despite your job burnout.

You can start by considering adding these 5 to your sleep arsenal:

  1. Work Phone, Be Gone – Try leaving your work phone and laptop in your car trunk.  This sounds crazy but it keeps you from thinking about work when you enter the door. As night falls and your in your PJ’s your not likely to venture outside just to check on work stuff.
  2. Take It Off – Immediately change out of your work clothes when you get home.  You are far more likely be obsessing about your job burnout if you’re in your “burnout gear” when you get home. Immediately change clothes when you get home to start you unwinding mindset.
  3. Eliminate Naps – Lots of people recommend naps but I’ve found that taking naps makes it less likely that I’ll sleep well.  I find it better to push through the day even when you’re tired and you’ll find yourself sleeping more soundly.
  4. No Covers – Try sleeping with no covers.  When you’ve got job burnout, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. There’s nothing that says routine change like sleeping coverless.
  5. Dream before you go to bed – Try dreaming about future possibilities that excite and inspire you before you go to bed. This increases the likelihood that you’ll actually have dreams that work for you when you sleep as well as refocus your mind. Even try taking it farther by right it down.

So whew!

You don’t have to leave the job burnout behind to wake-up well-rested.

To Having Sweet Dreams!


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