Could Better Sleep Make You a Better Entrepreneur? by Sheila Johnson
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re creative, driven, and fiercely independent. You’re also seriously sleep-deprived. A recent study found that most CEOs clock fewer than six hours of sleep per night, and new entrepreneurs sleep even less. Yet that very thing that might strike you as a waste of time—sleep—could actually help you in your work.
Is it really worth it?
You might think that putting sleep on the back burner is helping you get ahead as an entrepreneur, but research suggests it’s actually doing the opposite. On top of making you more accident prone and increasing your risk of health problems, Shopify explains sleep deprivation also makes you more forgetful and a slower learner — two things you definitely don’t want to be when you’re running a business.
Beyond the impact on your business, if you want to be the best entrepreneur you can be you need to make the “life” part of work-life balance just as important as the “work” part. That balance must include your sleep.
Upgrade your bedroom
Are you still sleeping on the same mattress you bought after college and letting clutter pile up on the bedroom floor? It might not seem like a big deal, but your sleep environment has a big impact on the quality of your rest. A dark, quiet, comfortable space can set you up for success.
Invest in blackout shades and a white noise machine, set your house to the right temperature for sleep, and finally replace that lumpy old mattress. You don’t have to go to a mattress store and spend hours testing beds; you can order a bed in a box online and have it delivered to your door within days.
And instead of awkwardly laying on store models, you can read reviews to find out which mattress is best for your sleep style and body type or opt for a crowd-pleaser like the Leesa mattress. Best part? You can test drive it for one hundred nights and return it if it’s not the one for you.
Get in a routine
Routines keep you productive at work, and Empire Flippers points out that they can help you optimize your sleep, too. Set aside time in the evening to plan the following day and get work-related worries out of your head. Then, set aside your computer and phone for an hour before bed to prepare your body for sleep.
If work-related stress manifests in physical tension that makes it hard to sleep, try taking a magnesium supplement before bed. Psychology Today says it’s a natural and healthy sleep help, and many of us are magnesium-deprived.
In the morning, avoid hitting the snooze button. Instead, wake up early, get some sun, and engage in a morning routine that energizes you for the day ahead. While it may take time to get used to these habit changes, before long you’ll feel the difference in your stamina and focus.
Many people despise their alarms. If you struggle with waking or just hate that insistent beep, consider upgrading your alarm clock. For instance, the Sonic Alarm awakens you more naturally via gentle vibrations, light and sound, and you can adjust it to suit your preferences.
Focus on what matters
One of the biggest sleep challenges entrepreneurs face is shutting off the endless stream of tasks running through their mind. While writing a to-do list before bed can help you get thoughts out of your head and onto paper, if you still find your mind racing at night, it might be a sign there’s too much on your plate.
If you’re struggling to sleep because you’re juggling too much, ask yourself if losing sleep is really worth the $15 an hour you could pay someone to handle tedious tasks for you. Outsourcing non-revenue-generating tasks not only frees up your time for sleep, it also leaves you with more mental energy to put toward growing your business.
Instead of writing off restful nights as a lost cause or prioritizing your to-do list over sleep, make these lifestyle changes so you can start getting the sleep you need to perform your best. Upgrade your bedroom, adjust your routine, and rethink your focus. Sleep can improve your business, not to mention your health and quality of life.