Between the cups of coffee and yawns, you realize that you are sleep deprived. The way you feel and how you are able to function are greatly impacted by your sleep or lack thereof. According to the National Institute of Health, sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.
There are many causes and consequences to not having enough sleep. As a business owner, you are carrying a lot on your shoulders. A simple way to alleviate the feeling of being under stress is to get enough sleep. The National Institute of Health goes on to say that studies also show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.
As a business owner this is significant. So what can you do about it? Here are few suggestions to help you get the rest that your body needs:
1. Bedtime is for sleeping
Often people go to bed to watch T.V., but you really want to program yourself to expect to go to sleep when it is bedtime. You should have a regimen that prepares you for bed and sends the message that it is time for sleep. This will be something that you can and will do on a daily basis. Your goal is to eliminate anything that stimulates you and causes you to actually stay awake.
2. Go to bed on the same day
If you wake up on a Tuesday morning, you should be in the bed on your way to sleep Tuesday evening, and not Wednesday morning at 12 am, 1 am and so forth. People have a bad habit of not going to bed at a reasonable time. This then becomes a habit that is both difficult to break and impacts your daily activities.
3. Wake up at the same time daily
Some people are able to wake up without an alarm clock because they are getting enough rest or they're following their circadian rhythm. Set your alarm to wake up at the same time daily. It is consistency that the body needs.
4. Create a restful environment
This could mean having sound effects such as waterfall, a gurgling brook, or whatever relaxes you to drift off to sleep. This may mean having all the lights off and controlling as much as your environment as possible ranging from a comfortable mattress to a cool room.
5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
If you find it hard to go to sleep stop your caffeine intake in the afternoon. Then the nightcap that you believe is helping you should be eliminated, as well. Alcohol may help you to go to sleep but it has been shown to reduce your sleep quality, waking you up later in the night.
Even with these practices, you may find sleep to be a difficult task because you often worry about the next day, think about what you didn't accomplish, and get into your head. Try keeping a notepad next to your bed and when you think of something that you believe will be beneficial the next day jot it down. This will tell your brain that it can let that thought go so that you can sleep instead of trying to hold on to that thought. It is difficult running a business and it seems that the only time you really have to think about the day is at night when you are supposed to be asleep. But if you are going to keep up the fast pace and tackle each day with vigor, you must get your rest.