Science says more sleep = better performance
One article says that athletes gained an edge by sleeping 10 hours a night. Most lawyers do not sprint train during the day (unless they are late for court). Still, feeling good physically is bound to help your mental state of mind.
Another study indicated that preschoolers who had a rule with bedtime generally obtained higher test scores. I still have a bedtime rule, but I tend to dismiss it every night.
Athletes and preschoolers are not lawyers, but it is hard to ignore the fact that getting more sleep can help you both physically and mentally.
Various remedies for sleep issues
The good news is that your body can repay sleep debts. If you stayed up too late writing a brief, you can hopefully add an extra hour or two the night couple of nights to regain a sleep equilibrium.
Studies also continue to demonstrate that napping is a very effective way to reboot your body and provide energy. A twenty minute power nap can reinvigorate you and maybe even make you productive after 4 p.m.
Exercise can also help. If you find yourself nodding off at your desk, get up, walk around, and get the blood moving.
Of course, if you find yourself unable to sleep, you can always try re-reading opposing counsel’s terrible brief—that always does the trick for me.