Establishing good sleep habits can improve your health and productivity as an entrepreneur. Reclaim your sleep with these tips.
Today’s post is by Brad Wayland, Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton.
If you are anything like me, you are no stranger to long, sleepless nights – no matter how bad for your health they might be. But take it from me, this is not something you want to make a habit. You need to reclaim your sleep. Here’s how to do just that:
It is three in the morning, and you are on a roll. It does not matter that you need to be up at eight tomorrow. You have work to do, and now is the time to do it.
Except it is not. At all. Not only are you killing your productivity by pulling these all-nighters, but you are also slowly killing yourself.
I will spare you the details. I am sure you have already heard repeatedly that sleep deprivation is directly linked to a range of very nasty illnesses. I am sure you already know that you need to start sleeping more and sleeping better.
And I am also sure you have no idea how. I have been there.
But it is not impossible to overcome. Today, I would like to talk about how you, as an entrepreneur, can turn off your brain, wind down your body, and take back control of your sleep cycle. Trust me, it might seem like you are working less, but you will get more done.
Set a Schedule and Stick to It
First, and most importantly, time management is your friend. Establish set hours each day that you will work, respond to emails, and collaborate with clients and colleagues. Outside of those hours, focus on yourself.
That means no more late-night cram sessions. It means leaving your work at the office unless there’s a downright catastrophic fire that absolutely demands your attention. It means being smarter about when, how, and where you work.
And most importantly, it means having an established time each night that you go to sleep, and sticking to that because that’s the only way you will develop anything that even vaguely resembles ordinary sleep habits.
Establish a “Wind-Down” Routine
Right. Time for bed. Only…you are not tired.
What you need is a wind-down routine. Every night, about a half hour to an hour before you go to bed, disconnect from all your electronics. Put your phone on vibrate, turn off your computer, and don’t even try to watch Netflix.
Relax. Take a nice bath. Meditate. Practice some breathing exercises. Do whatever it takes to calm down your body and mind, and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.
Examine Your Sleep Hygiene
Is your room dark, cool, and comfortable, or is it a brightly-lit sweatbox? Do you go to sleep with the TV off, or do you frequently pass out while watching YouTube videos? A big part of why many people have trouble sleeping is that they don’t actually realize how bad their sleep hygiene is.
Consider purchasing a humidifier and a white noise machine. Buy a sleep mask. Light some scented candles. Do everything you can to make your room a more relaxing place, the kind where you wind down rather than wind up.
Entrepreneurs are more familiar with the ins and outs of insomnia than most. That’s really no surprise, though. Considering how often we’re on the go and how much passion we have for our work, turning off our brains and relaxing is easier said than done.
But it’s doable. Trust in that. And sleep well because you’ve earned it.
Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.
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