Does the term “quality sleep” sound like a foreign language to you? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands of entrepreneurs find it difficult to get quality sleep even though it’s necessary for peak focus and productivity. It is almost impossible to get 8 or 9 hours of sleep per night, especially for entrepreneurs working 12+ hours a day. Is there a solution?
The answer may surprise you. Instead of focusing on getting more sleep, we advise you to get better quality sleep that’s restorative and healthy. By following these simple tips, you can get better quality sleep without increasing the amount of time spent between the sheets:
1. Purchase the right mattress
When designing a product for your business, smart entrepreneurs know that quality matters. If you make something that doesn’t last, your business will fail. The same thinking applies to mattresses.
The right mattress makes all the difference when it comes to sleep quality, so don’t hesitate to spend money to get the perfect one. If your mattress is too soft or hard, you’ll end up tossing and turning all night, bothering your partner, and waking up sore, cranky, and groggy.
While every person has different personal tastes and needs, there’s one type of mattress technology that entrepreneurs and business owners are increasingly embracing: celliant. This proprietary technology is believed to have positive restorative effects on the human body. And since sleep is supposed to be the ultimate restorative act, isn’t that what you want?
2. Establish consistency
Consistency is very important when it comes to sleep patterns, but entrepreneurs often struggle with this, in part because of our very active minds, travel schedules and meetings. You may think that you’re just “going with the flow” when you sleep from 9 PM to 4 AM one day then 1 AM to 7 AM the next day. However, your body interprets this change differently and sounds an alarm: something’s wrong. Changes in your sleep schedules makes it difficult for your body to adjust and you end up feeling tired.
The times you go to sleep and wake up are both very important. As Dr. Michael Breus explains:
“We’re creatures of habit in so many ways—there is comfort and security in having routines in place for many aspects of our waking lives. Routines help make our daily lives easier, and help us to be more efficient with our time and effort. Sleep is really no different.”
So, establish a sleep routine and see the difference it makes!
Add extra time to your schedule so if a meeting runs over, it will still end at a reasonable time. Don’t be afraid to resume a topic during the following day. Prioritizing your sleep is important.
Don’t forget to disconnect your phone and tablet before you go to bed, as these devices are the biggest culprits when it comes to disrupting consistent rest. Being able to just reach over and check your email while in bed gives you permission to keep working when you should be sleeping instead. Technology is in many ways an enemy to great sleep. Read more about this via The Sleep Judge: The many ways technology affects sleep.
3. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
The food and drink you consume directly impacts your quality of sleep. While we all know that coffee is an official food group among entrepreneurs, consider how that midday “pick me up” will impact your sleep cycle. Similarly, alcohol may help you fall asleep, but actually acts as a stimulant after a few hours and keeps you awake. Caffeine should be avoided six hours prior to bedtime, while alcohol shouldn’t be consumed within three hours of bedtime.
4. Pay attention to your sleep environment
Your sleep environment is very important. You should strive for a quiet, dark, and cool room that promotes quality sleep. Don’t have an ideal setup? There are plenty of products designed to make quality sleep more attainable. Discover what works best for you.
5. Hack your sleep
Sleeping eight hours at a time is simply an unrealistic expectation for many entrepreneurs, so experiment with your rest habits to find an ideal scenario. Are there better ways to sleep that enhance your productivity and decrease your time at rest? Biphasic sleep – a two-part sleep system that encourages middle of the night wakefulness – might be the answer for you.
In the past, most people slept in two parts and didn’t just wake up in the middle of the night, roll over, and get right back to sleep. Rather, they would light some candles, do some work, or even visit with friends during nighttime hours. Many modern entrepreneurs find this system to be effective because there are fewer external distractions at 3 AM than there are at 10 PM when all your peers are still working. Take advantage of that lull in the middle of the night to help boost your productivity.
Quality sleep: an essential ingredient to entrepreneurial success
While your success as an entrepreneur depends on the decisions you make during the waking hours, adequate sleep is a critically significant component of being alert and making sound choices. Remember, you don’t have to sleep more to be healthier.
What changes will you implement in your lifestyle to get more quality sleep?
Photo thanks to Erin E Flynn. https://www.flickr.com/photos/eef-ink/
Jeremy Webb Startup Grind https://www.startupgrind.com/blog/5-ways-to-increase-business-productivity-through-better-quality-sleep/