When you think of entrepreneurs, what comes to mind? Some might imagine people with vision and ingenuity. To many, though, an insatiable appetite for success and the willingness to work day and night come to mind. No matter what you imagine, entrepreneurs are an impressive bunch that do a lot for global society.
Of course, being an entrepreneur isn’t always glamorous. There are many challenges associated with being a business founder, including the long hours and heavy workload. Stress can run high. Relationships get strained. Plus, with so much on their plates, many entrepreneurs struggle to get enough sleep.
Lack of sleep can have a huge domino effect on your life. It exacerbates stress and impacts your ability to think clearly. It’s also a significant part of your mental and physical health. You can’t live without sleep, so if you’re struggling to get your Zs, take the problem seriously. To get started, here are a few ways to improve your sleep health.
Have you found a bit of success in the entrepreneurial grind? Invest in some sleep-related gear to keep up the pace at work. The truth is that getting good sleep is just like any other activity. To do it well, you need the right equipment. A few good tools, and you can really improve the quality of your sleep.
Mattresses are a big part of this investment. Your mattress can make or break your night, and if it’s bad, it might feel like it’s breaking your back. Things like your sleep position and any joint problems you have will factor into the type of mattress you need. Make sure to shop around to find the right one. And don’t be afraid to splurge on a better bed — a good one will last you years.
Then there are the small, but equally important, items to think about. For example, you probably already have pajamas, but is your sleepwear hypoallergenic or is it thermo-regulating? If not, silk pajamas can help you here. Grab an eye mask, too, to keep out all the unhealthy blue light. Finally, an ergonomic pillow will cradle your heavy head, so that you get the neck support you need.
If you rely on coffee to function throughout the day, you’re already losing the sleep battle. Sure, coffee and other caffeinated beverages might make you more productive. However, that caffeine can stick with you throughout the night — which counteracts the energy boost of that cup of coffee. In other words, consider cutting back. If you can’t stop drinking caffeine in one fell swoop, consider an afternoon switch to tea.
If you’ve struggled with sleep for a while, you may have turned to sleep medications for help. Unfortunately, using these medications comes with risks. For one, you may become reliant, and suffer from withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them. For another, you may become immune to its effects and seek out something stronger. It’s a cycle that will keep you up at night.
Look for healthier alternatives to increase your energy during the day and help you wind down at night. Apples are known for boosting energy without any nasty side effects. Depending on the workouts, exercise has been proven to be effective at both waking you up and helping you sleep. Exercise gets your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping in the morning. Plus, it can burn off some extra energy if you find yourself too wound up as the sun sets.
Successful entrepreneurs have great self-discipline and manage their time well. The key to getting better sleep is leveraging those skills. Use that time management prowess to be intentional about getting good sleep every night.
Start by developing a sleep schedule. Set a sleep reminder if you tend to stay up late at night finishing projects or checking your email. Go one step further and sign off email well before bed — establish no-tech times to set aside your devices. The blue light they emit will keep you up long after you’ve logged off for the night.
An intentional bedtime routine can be one of the most important things you put into your calendar everyday. Mark down strict deadlines to stop working. Pencil in activities that help you relax, like reading or taking a warm bath. Then, check out the results the following morning when you feel refreshed and ready to work.
The mind of an entrepreneur is a busy one. Stress and anxiety might be keeping you awake as you worry about all the cogs and wheels in your business. Ideas for new products, services, pricing models, and marketing tactics may also have you counting dollars instead of sheep.
If you struggle with an active mind at night, don’t make your plans, personal or professional, in the evening. Instead, set aside time in the afternoon for planning. During this designated time you can write down your list of to-dos for the following day.
Build in a time for creativity, too. Write down any other ideas that come to mind. By scheduling a bit of time daily, you’re stretching your creativity muscles, and inviting ideas and solutions to flow freely. Plus, at the end of the day, you’ll have a clearer head, since all your thoughts will be on paper.
Now, onto those late-night projects keeping you up. Entrepreneurs often overwork themselves in an attempt to get their dreams off the ground. Their efforts are admirable, for sure. However, this routine is not healthy, and it’s generally unsustainable.
How to deal with this lifestyle problem? Entrepreneurs need to learn how to delegate. Let go of the little things, and hand the tasks off to employees. This way you won’t get overloaded or burn out.
One of the main struggles entrepreneurs have with this is finding people they trust to do the work. In the early stages of building your startup, you might feel and act like a new parent. Everything must be done with extreme care and to your exact specifications. However, similarly to parenting, eventually you have to give the business some space. So develop a team that shares your vision and can share the burden, then maybe you’ll sleep like a baby.
It comes down to this: You can’t do your best work if you’re sleep deprived. Better sleep will help you get through the day and support your long term goals. So if you want to be successful, take your sleep as seriously as you take your business.