Business entrepreneurs need boundless reserves of energy. Guess what the secret is to feeling and doing your best? Sleep! It’s a powerhouse restorative for good health.
In fact, people who live long lives have one thing in common: they sleep a lot. Without enough sleep, your productivity drops, your health fades, and it becomes impossible to move mountains, make magic, and tackle goals.
Besides needing sleep for energy, there is growing evidence that lack of sufficient sleep due to lifestyle or work schedule can raise the chances of health problems, including inability to read facial cues, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, to name just a few.
Research suggests we need seven to eight hours a night to avoid major health risks. If you’re a busy, high-stress person, here’s how to get a better night’s sleep.
- Wake up at the same time each day. Your sleep is controlled by your daily circadian rhythms. This includes a lowering of your core body temperature at night-a drop essential to sleep, with body temperature reaching its lowest point around 4 a.m. Waking up at the same time every day gives these rhythms a consistent fixed orientation point.
- Expose your eyes to direct sunlight during the day. Many of us work in cubicles and offices without direct sunlight for eight to twelve hours a day. You need to get out and expose your eyes to sunlight (outdoors, without sunglasses). The exposure will send signals to your brain’s hypothalamus, the area that regulates your circadian rhythms , thereby reinforcing your wake-sleep cycle. In general, the more your eyes are exposed to light during the day, the more soundly you’ll sleep at night.
- Keep your sleeping environment as dark as possible. The brain secretes melatonin in darkness, and ceases production when exposed to bright light. Get light-blocking curtains or shades. Cover light emitting devices (or get an old-fashioned sleep mask if you don’t want to fiddle with all of your electronic equipment). And avoid the brightness of TVs and computers in the hour or two before bedtime.
- Keep your room cool. A too-warm room can partially blunt the all-important sleep-inducing drop in body temperature that occurs during sleep. Try to get your room to 68 degrees. Use a blanket to keep yourself warm.
- Avoid all caffeine after lunch. Experts advise no caffeine within eight hours of bedtime. This includes coffee, tea, caffeinated soda, energy drinks, and chocolate.
- Don’t drink alcohol near bedtime. It makes your sleep shallower and less restorative and will cause you to wake up in the night.
- Take a hot bath two hours before going to bed. Remember that a drop in your core body temperature during the night is a key part of healthy sleep. By raising your body temperature with a hot bath, you’ll trigger a rebound drop in body temperature one to two hours later, making it easier to fall asleep.
- Don’t nap. Tough it out. Stay awake until bedtime.
- Avoid sleeping pills. Many of them are addictive and they give you a wicked hangover feeling the next morning.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t lie there forever. Get up if you don’t get to sleep in 20 minutes. You will preserve your pleasant associations with your bed.
Lack of sleep is no laughing matter. Not only can it lead to serious health problems, it destroys your productivity at work. I am happy to say that all this info, which I have taken from a wonderful book called The Diabetes Reset by George L. King, M.D. has helped me, and I hope it helps you. The techniques proposed can work for anyone who needs to get more sleep.