Think running your own business means you have to sacrifice sleep in order to get things done? High performance athletes know the value of quality sleep on their game time performance and research shows that getting solid sleep can mean the same for business; Think of that investor pitch you’re making next week as the semi-final game for Super Bowl.
Research tells us that well-rested people are less stressed, make clearer decisions, have better memory and generally work more efficiently. Want to lead your start-up to success? Get more sleep.
Here are some tips to help you get the sleep you need now:
1. Decaf, please
It’s easy to start mindlessly drinking coffee when you hit that afternoon lull, but try to limit caffeine later in the day so it doesn’t impede your ability to wind down when you want and need to.
2. Hit the shower
Taking a shower or bath before bed will raise your body temperature. As your temperature drops, it alerts your brain that it is time to sleep, making you drowsy. This is part of your body’s natural circadian rhythm – go with it.
3. Make a list
Get tomorrow’s to-do list out of your head and onto paper (or your task list app) – if you stop thinking about it and go to sleep, you will be much more focussed at tackling your tasks the next day.
4. Turn off the tech
Plan to finish up emails and online research before climbing into bed. The bright screens on mobile devices, laptops and televisions may stimulate your brain and interfere with sleep.
5. Set the stage
Whether traveling or at home, make sure you have what you need to create a restful sleep environment. Black-out curtains or eye masks to block light, earplugs to cancel out traffic noises or snoring partners, and set the room at the right temperature for sleep – ideally 65-70F
6. Nap if you need it
While it can’t replace the benefits of getting your 7-9 hours, in the right situation a 20 minute nap can improve alertness and focus – making it easier to get through a few more tasks in the afternoon.
As an entrepreneur working with limited resources it may not be possible to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night, but consider this: Sacrificing sleep on a regular basis means you are cumulating a sleep deficit – the effects of which on your productivity may actually be worse for your business than putting off a few tasks until the next day.
Leonardo da Vinci said:
“a well-spent day brings happy sleep” and we believe a happy sleep brings a well spent day.”