Running a business isn’t a glamorous affair as many believe it to be – it’s hard work, long hours, raising capital, meeting deadlines, surviving launches, stressing over tight budgets, a slew of emails to be answered and calls to be made, wondering whether you’ll make it, and way too many sleepless nights.
Even when you achieve your goals and start doing well, you can’t relax because competitors are breathing down your neck, while things can change in a matter of seconds and jeopardize your hard-earned success.
All this is a recipe for interrupted sleep and insomnia. Besides, sleep deprivation has become somewhat of a badge of honor and something to boast about among entrepreneurs.
If we bear in mind that 62% of adults worldwide don’t sleep well and combine this stat with the fact that insufficient sleep costs the U.S. economy $411 billion annually, it’s obvious how this problem can escalate.
The math is clear – if you dream big, you need a good night’s sleep to make it come true.
Here are a couple of tips on how to catch some z’s every night.
1. Understand the Risks of Poor Sleep
If you don’t sleep well, you’ll wake up tired and cranky, and you can’t expect to be productive during the day. But poor sleep’s impact on your professional life isn’t the only danger, because your health will suffer too.
Some of the risks that you’re exposing yourself to if you don’t sleep enough include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory issues
- Weakened immunity
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Heart disease
2. Create a Schedule
As an entrepreneur, you know how important having a schedule is.
Every day in the life of a business owner comes with a different set of challenges and issues to deal with, which is why you need to have some kind of plan if you want to give structure to your daily activities.
Otherwise, you can easily go with the flow and end up going to bed in the wee hours of the morning.
That’s why you need to draw a line and make sure that you get enough sleep. It’s recommended that you set an alarm that will notify you it’s time to wrap things up and start preparing to go to bed.
If you aren’t sure how many hours of sleep will allow you to be your most productive self, experiment and keep a journal. According to the science of sleep, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of shuteye every night.
However, you should know that too much sleep can be equally bad for your performance and productivity. According to some studies, there’s a link between reduced cognitive ability and excessive sleep.
3. Go to Bed and Wake Up at the Same Time
Developing healthy sleeping habits means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
This stable routine will make it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up, as your body will get accustomed to it. Maintaining a regular sleeping schedule is good for your internal clock and will improve your metabolic balance.
It’s worth mentioning that people who wake up early in the morning tend to be happier and less susceptible to procrastination. Even if it’s hard for you to crawl out of bed at 6 a.m., there are ways to help you become a morning person.
4. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Coffee seems to be a magic potion for every entrepreneur.
Sure, to many people, caffeine is an essential ingredient for starting the day, and it’s indispensable when you have to stay up working late to meet a deadline.
But, if you want a good night’s sleep, youʼll have to limit your intake of this stimulant. Don’t forget that besides coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and even some kinds of tea contain caffeine.
You shouldn’t consume more than 400mg of caffeine a day, and that means approximately 4 cups of coffee. In order to be able to fall asleep when you go to bed, avoid drinking coffee or other caffeine-packed beverages in the afternoon.
5. Turn Your Bedroom Into a Phone-Free Zone
Our beloved smartphones are known sleep disruptors.
First of all, they emit so-called blue light that interferes with your sleep by delaying the release of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. It also affects your circadian rhythm and makes it hard for you to fall asleep.
But there’s another downside to bringing your smartphone or laptop to bed – a slew of notifications that you can’t help but act on. In other words, you’ll feel compelled to open all the emails and read every Slack or Skype message you receive.
And, as unwinding before going to sleep is crucial, this habit will only make you upset, especially if you get some unfavorable news.
To prevent this, turn off your phone, tablet, and laptop before you go to bed and turn off your smartwatch notifications.
6. Start Exercising and Stick to It
Physical activity plays an important role in maintaining your overall health. This doesn’t mean that you have to hit the gym or run a marathon. Even a brisk walk once a day will do.
Practicing yoga or Pilates can also be beneficial for both your physical and mental health, as these two types of workouts improve your muscular strength, help you stretch, but also encourage and promote mindfulness. This will, subsequently, help you sleep better.
No matter what exercise you choose, make sure to practice it regularly, and don’t give up.
Being an entrepreneur is tough and requires a lot of energy, time, and resources. Naturally, as the stakes are high, you tend to sacrifice a lot of things in order to succeed, but your sleep and overall health shouldn’t be among them. These simple tips can help you keep insomnia and sleep deprivation at bay. Invest in your sleep first, and you’ll be ready to take every challenge entrepreneurial life may throw at you.
Featured image credit: Unsplash.com
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