In the early days of my business I lost a lot of sleep. Sometimes it was due to working into the wee hours, other times an inconsistent income kept me awake and other times a multitude of to-do lists insisted on rotating through my brain like a revolving door of tasks I couldn’t slow down. The more sleep deprived I became, the less productive I was. I was sick often and just wasn’t operating at my best. These days experts tell us that good sleep is a critical component of good health and productivity. But when you’re tossing and turning or burning the midnight oil knowing you need that sleep can make it even harder. So how can get a good night’s sleep when you own a business?
Here are nine ways I’ve learned to get a good night’s sleep as a business owner:
- Set a quitting time. Make it no later than 4 hours before you normally go to bed. Don’t work past that time.
- Allow yourself time to disconnect from your business. If that’s binge-watching a favorite show on Netflix for a few hours, getting together with friends or enjoying a hobby, allow yourself to let go of all things business and focus on other things instead.
- No working from bed. Just because a laptop or iPad allows you to do work from bed, it doesn’t mean you should. Plus, the blue light from the screen can further disrupt your sleep.
- No electronics in bed. No checking your email from your iPhone, no playing that addictive game. Facebook…heck no. When you get into bed, all devices should be tucked away.
- Drink chamomile tea or another relaxing tea blend before bed. It works!
- Read a book. Snuggling under the covers with a good book after a cup of chamomile tea is a sure-fire way to put me to sleep. Reading also helps take my mind off from business and be immersed in the story. Note: if you’re like me and read on your iPad, Kindle or iPhone, be sure you use the nightshift option that tones out the blue light.
- Set a sleep schedule. Try to get into bed around the same time every night.
- Diffuse an essential oil blend like lavender and cedarwood or lavender and frankincense. Other options: use a roller blend or balm that includes these relaxing essential oils and apply to your wrists and soles of your feet, spray your pillow with a lavender pillow spray. It may sound kind of woo woo, but it really does work. I get my essential oils here.*
- Listen to sleep sounds or a hypnosis recording. Both can have an extremely relaxing effect. I especially rely on a hypnosis recording when I have a lot on my mind and just can’t seem to let it go. Because hypnosis starts with breathing and relaxation exercises, it always works when all the rest might not.
Although working long hours and losing sleep seems to have become some sort of twisted by-product of owning a business, it shouldn’t be. The truth is, your business will be better off when you set limits, disconnect and get a good night’s sleep.
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