Research has found that short-term and chronic sleep deprivation can impair cognitive function, making it harder to generate creative ideas , stay focused on work, complete tasks in a timely manner, and generally maintain a high level of performance. A columnist for Inc reviews ways to optimize sleep quality and avoid sleep deprivation.

A regular sleep-wake routine trains your body to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, making it more likely that you’ll enjoy consistent, adequate sleep. On the other hand, going to bed and waking up at different times throughout the week can throw your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle out of whack. This can lead to daytime drowsiness and make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Exposing yourself to the “blue light” emitted by electronics (such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs) interferes with our body’s sleep-wake cycles and makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. That means watching TV or browsing your phone right up until bedtime is all but guaranteed to lower your sleep quality.