An Entrepreneurs Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
You might think that successful businessmen and women require little in the way of sleep. The reverse is actually true; getting a good night’s sleep is often part of the reason they’re so successful! Sleep is essential for everyone, young, old, successful and middle of the road.
A lot of research has been conducted on the importance of sleep and what happens if you don’t get enough. Recent research has uncovered the fact that a shorter number of uninterrupted hours rest is better for the brain than a longer number of fitful ones. If your sleep is interrupted throughout the night, you don’t get the opportunity to progress through the various sleep stages. You’re falling short of slow-wave sleep which is the key to feeling restored.
How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?
There are a few successful business people that claim they only need four hours sleep a night. However, this is the exception to the rule. The average person needs seven to eight hours to progress through sufficient sleep stages to wake up feeling rejuvenated. The majority of successful people manage to get at least six hours sleep.
It’s essential you find out how much sleep you need and then do your utmost to achieve it. A general rule of thumb is that if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a nap, you’re not getting enough sleep. There are many factors that could be contributing to your poor sleep pattern. Health conditions such as sleep apnea are one cause, but in most cases, it is the result of bad sleeping habits.
What Happens if You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
The occasional night without sleep will just make you feel tired and irritable the next day, and there will be very little harm to your health. Several nights sleep can have more serious mental effects. You’ll feel like your brain is full of fog, find it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. Your mood will change, you’ll start feeling down, and you might even find yourself falling asleep at work. If your sleepless nights continue, they will affect your overall health, and you’ll be more likely to suffer from severe medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
What Can You Do to Ensure a Great Sleep Every Night?
There are several things you can do to ensure you get a great night’s sleep, waking every morning ready to take on the world and run your business.
Wake at the Same Time Every Morning
The most common problem when it comes to lack of sleep is an irregular sleep schedule. You might get up at the same time on weekdays, but what about the weekend? Getting up at 11 am on a Sunday morning is bound to be appealing, however, it means you’ll fall asleep later that night and struggle to be up for work at 7 am the next morning. When Monday evening comes around, you’re not going to want to hit the hay early enough, and the problem gets compounded. One of the most important things you can do to get a good night’s sleep is wake up at the same time every morning.
When you’re getting near to the end of your working day, it can be very tempting to reach for a caffeine hit. It might give you a short boost of energy, but did you realize the effects can take up to six hours to wear off? Resist the urge to sip sodas, coffees, and teas later in the afternoon, and you’ll find it easier to drift off at bedtime.
Regular exercise can bring a number of benefits to your health and wellbeing. It also helps prevent a range of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, dementia, stress, and more, as well as having a significant impact on how well you sleep. Studies have shown that morning and afternoon workouts can increase the quality and amount of sleep. Strenuous exercise just before bedtime will make it harder to fall asleep afterward, however.
Set the Mood for Sleep
If you’ve got a set time to wake up in the morning, it makes sense to go to bed at the same time every night. It can be a difficult thing to stick to when there are so many distractions to keep you awake. To set your body’s internal clock and prepare it for sleep time, you can introduce a nighttime ritual. Dim the lights about an hour before bedtime and the low light levels will ramp up your body’s natural production of melatonin (which is the hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep).
Make sure your bed and bedroom are comfortable and inviting. Leave your electronic devices outside the bedroom door, black out the windows and make sure the room is cool. Making your bed in the morning and puffing up your luxury down pillows, will also make your bedroom more inviting.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to irritability and an inability to control one’s anger, neither of which are going to benefit your business day. You’re also going to struggle to keep calm at work. If you’re feeling irritable and angry, those around you are going to feel uncomfortable and tense. When you’re running a business, your employees are going to be looking up to you and part of your role is to motivate and inspire those around you. If you’re struggling to stay calm because of a lack of sleep, it will impact on your effectiveness as a leader.
If you find yourself waking in the middle of the night, don’t lie in bed for more than 20 minutes. Get out of bed and find something boring to do and you’ll find it easier to fall back to sleep.
Winding down and going to sleep at a sensible hour can be very hard if you’re under a lot of pressure. However, it is worth making changes to your daily routine to preserve the relationship you have with your employees. It will also help to maintain a positive working environment and help you stay focused on your business.
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