Do entrepreneurs need less sleep? No. Do they get less sleep? Yes.
Most entrepreneurs believe they can still function well on less sleep, but the fact is an adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep per day to feel rested, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Not surprisingly, the Harvard Business Review finds about 30 percent of working Americans get less than six hours of sleep a day.
We can hear you now, “But I only need four or five hours of sleep a night.” You might even think you’re less of a productive entrepreneur if you’re “sleeping in” but, besides causing serious health problems like obesity, heart disease and depression, not getting enough sleep can weaken short-term memory, decision-making ability and creativity.
You may not believe it, but it is possible to get more sleep and still run your business. Here’s how:
- Power nap: Short naps (20 minutes max) can do you a world of good and boost your energy for the next several hours.
- Exercise at some point during the day but not right before bedtime. Figure out a schedule that works for you. Aside from the physical benefits, exercising gives you time away from the business to brainstorm and sort out solutions to problems.
- Create a bedtime routine. Whether it’s reading the business books you’ve always wanted to read or turning on soothing music, do whatever makes you relaxed and sleepy.
- Add hours to your morning. If you really want to get a little more time in your day, try getting up 30 minutes or so earlier in the morning (making sure to go to bed at a decent time). It’s always harder to get up after a late night.
- Make a list of what you need to do before you go to bed and prioritize it so you can feel better and one step ahead before you go to sleep.
- Listen to your body. The human body changes, so you can’t assume that what has worked in the past will always work for you. Listen to what your body is telling you and make adjustments. For example, maybe coffee never bothered you at night, but now you can’t sleep if you have any caffeine several hours before bedtime.
- Set a bedtime. You may not be able to have the same bedtime every day but give yourself a half-hour window so you get close. Eventually your body will know when it’s time to slow down for bedtime.
Making time for sleep can not only help your business, but lead to a longer and happier life. Following these tips can definitely help you improve your lifestyle.
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