How Accountants Can Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is a big if not widely discussed issue among accountants. Indeed, AccountingWEB's sister site, Going Concern, has addressed the sleep concerns of a would-be auditor and sleep deprivation during tax season.

Here are some tips that may help. When I was a kid, my mother said when it's time to go to sleep that's the only thing what you need to do. Let go about what happened that day, or what will happen tomorrow. If you're grappling with some issue, it'll still be there in the morning and at least with good sleep you'll be better prepared to tackle it.

Unfortunately, all around me, I know of career professionals who have problems sleeping throughout the night. They toss and turn. They ruminate over what happened during the day, or they dwell on what they have to face the next day. They do everything but sleep, which leads to a chain:

  • It's been said that poor sleep adds up to a poor life.
  • Fitful sleep leads to a fitful day.
  • Continual fitful sleep adds up to a fitful life.

What's more, just this month, researchers from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Manchester and Surrey Universities reveals that adults, accountants included, sleep two hours less, on average, than in the 1960s, with potentially disastrous health results.

Here are few personal guidelines that I recommend for getting good sleep night after night:

  1. Promise yourself that when you go to bed your main objective will be to rest, not to reflect.
  2. Remove from the room anything at all, including buzzers, bells, flashing lights, and any other item, that could detract from your main objective: to fall asleep.
  3. If you simply must reflect on what happened during the day then pick three items, review them, and after that, consider the task done.
  4. Alternatively, allow yourself to reflect on what went right or what you accomplished, or what you know to be true: I am well, I am loved, I am prosperous, I am healthy and the like.
  5. If you must contemplate what's coming up for tomorrow, once again, make three observations about how you'd like to approach the topic or event and thereafter consider your job done.

About the author:
Jeff Davidson, The Work-Life Balance Expert®, is founder of the Breathing Space Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina. He wrote Breathing Space and Simpler Living, recorded 92 audio programs, and created 24 iPhone apps. Visit:

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