The relationship between sleep and productivity is no secret. As Fitstop gym CMO Travis Telfer…
Sleep Your Way to Success
Sleep for many small business owners is underrated. How do I know? I’ve been there. Burnout was the reason I discovered how it’s possible, even essential, to sleep your way to success.
I used to average between 5 to 6 hours of sleep per night. Busy with deadlines, trying to do everything myself instead of delegating, convinced the harder I work, the more successful I will be. Until I was forced to not only slow down but to stop.
Burnout is inevitable if you continue on the trajectory of working long hours, thinking you can do it all.
When in the throes of full-fledged burnout, you are no longer able to function effectively on a personal or professional level. However, burnout doesn’t happen suddenly. You don’t wake up one morning and all of the sudden “have burnout.” Its nature is much more insidious, creeping up on us over time like a slow leak, which makes it much harder to recognize.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is a powerful influencer on your health, fitness and wellbeing. If you don’t get enough sleep, you cannot thrive, have 100% energy nor the head space needed to reach your business potential. Most important of all, a good night’s sleep is linked to good mental health.
Your brain and body are active while you sleep. Toxins in your brain from your waking hours are removed. Think of your brain as being washed, rinsed and refreshed while you sleep. Your brain is sorting through the day’s events and like a filing cabinet, storing away your memories.
Cells are being rejuvenated, an increase in blood flow and your body is being flooded with several different hormones. Very important is the stress hormone, cortisol, lowers during sleep.
Are these enough reasons why you should sleep your way to success?
5 Tips to Sleep Your Way to Success
1. Turn off electronic devices 1 hour before you go to sleep
I can hear you say “but I have to check my emails”, “social media connects me to friends”, “I chill out watching Netflix” – a myriad of excuses but believe me you will feel more rested in the morning if you make this a habit. The high intensity blue light that is emitted from any electronics affects your melatonin, your sleep hormone. So, chill out and prepare for bed by tuning off.
2. Go to bed at the same time every night
Even weekends try to go to bed at the same time. By doing this, you are training your natural circadian rhythm, which will lead you to better overall health and performance. Hint: I have my watch alarm set at 9:03 pm. This is my cue to start my bedtime routine. It’s taken me a while, but it’s now a habit.
3. Don’t eat a heavy meal before bed
Try not to eat anything within the 2 hours before bed. Alcohol 2 hours before bed can also disrupt your sleep cycle. My favourite part of my sleeping your way to success preparation is to sip on my warm ‘golden milk’ while in bed reading.
4. Cut caffeine after 12 noon
This I find is one of the most difficult to do; however experts have proven that the effects of caffeine last much longer than perceived. Drinking that extra cup (or 2) can cause restless sleep.
5. Make exercise part of your every day
It’s so easy to find yourself sitting at your desk for hours on end. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day of exercise. Walking, running, cycling, swimming – whatever you enjoy, even if it is light exercise. This will also attribute to a good night’s sleep although don’t exercise too late, which can make falling asleep more difficult.
A further factor is time off
A good night’s sleep every night is a major contributor to business success and helps avoid burnout, but what about time off? When was the last time you had a holiday?
While most employees enjoy around four weeks of fully paid holidays, the latest research says 80% of business owners do not take any ‘real time’ off. Just a day here and there but no unplugged, time out holiday.
I know there are many valid reasons for this. Many of you need to keep in contact even if you manage to get away. There is a way to manage time away though – 20% of business owners manage to. Once you are having regular, quality sleep, you will have better clarity, so put a holiday on your to-do list and develop good systems to allow for holiday time.
Running your own small business is hugely rewarding, but, the sole responsibility for the success or failure of your business is on your shoulders.
Sleep your way to success is one of the keys to a successful business and for managing your mental health.
Love you to share your thoughts on how you manage your mental health as a small business owner.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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