No one can experience entrepreneurial success without a lot of hard work. Unfortunately, that ideal has gone so far as to make start-up business owners feel like they must sacrifice the quantity and quality of their sleep to remain competitive. Sleep deprivation even feels like a badge of honor for some entrepreneurs to show how truly dedicated they are to growing their business. As more information about the importance of restorative sleep comes to light, business owners are heeding the advice and learning they can be more productive when well-rested than when continually skimping on sleep.
The Harvard Business Review Sleep Study
In July 2019, the Harvard Business Review published a study on entrepreneurs and sleep quality in the Journal of Business Venturing. The study, which had 784 participants, found that business owners who routinely don’t get enough quality sleep struggle to analyze business opportunities as effectively as their counterparts who do get enough sleep. They also tended to make more mistakes and be less effective in managing others.
Tips for Entrepreneurs to Get More Restful Sleep
Although some people remain in bed for eight or more hours, they could be spending much of that time awake tossing and turning. Following the tips below should improve sleep quality for most people and at least reduce sleep deprivation.
- Don’t consume caffeine eight or less hours before bedtime: Caffeine, a stimulant found in coffee, some sodas, and certain types of food, can remain in the body for eight to 10 hours after the last consumption. Drinking too much of it can make people jittery, agitated, and anxious in addition to causing insomnia.
- Have the last meal of the day at least three hours before going to sleep: Saving the largest meals for late in the evening or continually snacking up until the point of going to bed can make quality sleep difficult to achieve. The body must digest the food, a process that can keep people awake with multiple trips to the bathroom. Additionally, foods that spike blood sugar can cause people to wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep.
- Create a comfortable sleeping environment: This will mean different things to different people, but the room should be dark, set at a temperature that’s neither too hot or too cold, and quiet. Some entrepreneurs will need to invest in earplugs and security curtains to make their bedroom as advantageous to sleep as possible.
- Consider taking a shower before bed: Winding down a long and stressful day as an entrepreneur by taking a warm shower can help the body relax and adjust to sleep mode. The shower increases and then decreases body temperature, a process that induces a state of sleepiness. It’s easier for people to fall asleep with a low body temperature than it is with a high one.
Visit a Sleep Specialist if Necessary
Whether it’s too much stress, uncomfortable bedding, or a sleep disorder, some people still won’t sleep well after implementing the above sleep hygiene tips. With sleep deprivation, it’s vital to schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist to determine the underlying cause for the continued insomnia.