Business owners often have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep. Fretting over the unending details of running your business can make it hard to settle down at night, and lack of nourishing sleep can really interfere with daytime productivity and focus. Poor sleep sets off a cycle of tiredness and inefficiency that leads to errors, irritability and missed opportunities; giving the tired entrepreneur still more to worry about. Your entire quality of life is affected when sleep isn’t going well, because sleep is the cornerstone of sanity.
Although the 11:00 news and talk shows that follow are a cherished bedtime tradition in many households, watching TV will not help you get to sleep. Like television, the computer emits a blue light that is stimulating to the nervous system, so scrolling through email (and Facebook!) is also best avoided in the evening hours.
Guess what though? I know I can tell you about blue light until I’m, um, blue in the face- and you’re still going to be stalking old college sweethearts at all hours, because clearly Facebook is a Universally Irresistible Force. So here’s the answer:
Just download this little free doodad and your screen will emit a suitable glow based on your very own personal time zone. Clever, and you’ll find the quality of light is actually quite pleasant.
You will get to sleep more readily if you gradually dim the environment in your home at the end of the day. We’ve only had electric light for about 100 years, and yet we assume we should be able to immediately get to sleep by simply clicking off a light switch. Our bodies are adapted to the twilight of nature, and an abrupt transition from light to dark is stressful for the nervous system. Using low-watt bulbs for lamps in your sleeping area can help; ideally, you would end your day with candles or dim natural light.
Worry is probably the worst intrusion on business owners’ precious sleep time. Trouble getting to sleep may occur at bedtime, waking up in the middle of the night, or early morning hours. Tossing and turning can feel even more exhausting than being awake. Doing a brainless task like unloading the dishwasher or folding laundry can help you shift gears so you’re able to go back to bed and rest. If you get up for half an hour or so and yet find you still can’t sleep, you might try just staying quiet in bed and telling yourself, “I’m getting the rest I need,” or “Even though I’m awake, my body is resting.” The only function of sleep that anyone seems sure about is that it helps us rebuild our immune functioning. Calming yourself with these reminders can keep you from fretting about the next day and how tired you’ll feel.
Try these tricks and modifications to your routine and see if they help you have better nights. After all, you need your whole brain in order to stay successfully self-employed; it’s the biggest job ever.
Next time you have trouble settling down, let’s hope it’s just because you’re brimming with positive excitement about all your upcoming projects and wild ideas. That’s the best reason for a business owner to lose sleep!