A lack of sleep makes you work slower. Not to mention the fact that it can cause mistakes, increase irritability, and lead to a variety of other health concerns.
Entrepreneurs will try anything to fall asleep at night. I know some who have changed their diet in hopes of catching more shut-eye. Although it has never worked for me, others have suggested a good workout a couple hours before bed.
As a co-founder and CMO at Dasheroo, my job is to get new users in the door. I've got a monthly goal to hit and they need to be "real" users, not bots or people who don't really care about what we offer, business dashboards! I'm constantly thinking of new ways to figure out how, without spending money to get more traffic to our site so you can imagine my sleepless nights. I've tried it all.
So if you're like me and you've tried everything and are still lying awake at night, here are five more strategies to experiment with:
1. The 4-7-8 Breath
Dr. Andrew Weil loves the 4-7-8 technique, and I can see why. It's worked for me in the past, which is more than I can say for most other ideas.
This is a simple exercise that requires no equipment. Here's what you need to do:
- Exhale completely through your mouth.
- Close your mouth, inhale through your nose, and count to four in your mind.
- Hold your breath for seven counts.
- Exhale completely through your mouth for an eight count.
The above counts as one breath. Do this again for three cycles, for a total of four breaths.
If you need any help learning the technique, Dr. Weil shows you how it is done in this video.
2. Keep Your Room Cold
Have you ever tried getting a good night's sleep in a warm (or hot) room? It. Doesn't. Work.
Not only will a cool room help you fall asleep, but it is better for your health.
According to Dr. Christopher Winter of Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, set your bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep. Anything below 54 degrees or above 75 degrees can make it difficult to fall asleep and remain asleep.
I was never one for aromatherapy, until I gave it a try. From there, my sleeping habits changed for the better.
There are many essential oils that promote better sleep, with a few of my favorites including:
My advice is to experiment with a variety of oils until you find the one or two that work for you. It may take some trial and error, but you'll enjoy the results in the end.
4. Take Pure L-theanine
Derived from green tea, L-theanine is known for its calming capabilities. If you lay awake at night, perhaps wondering where your next client will come from or worried about that next big meeting, experiment with pure L-theanine
Take this amino acid a few minutes before bedtime, close your eyes, and let the stress melt away.
5. Take a Hot Bath
Don't use the excuse that you don't have time for a hot bath. You have time to lay in bed every night staring at the ceiling, so you definitely have time to hop in the tub.
Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at New York University School of Medicine, suggests a 20 minute bath approximately two hours before bed. By raising your temperature at this time, you will experience a bigger drop at bedtime. Subsequently, it's easier to fall into a deep sleep.
If all else fails, if you have been tossing and turning for a half hour or so, it's time to get up and start at square one. Or of course, you can always turn on Law and Order and hope for the best tomorrow night!