Business Owners Need Better Sleep!
Three Things you can do to Sleep Better
Gerry Chidiac can sleep anywhere! One of the best stories of Gerry sleeping, relates how he fell asleep in the front row at a convention only feet away from the key note speaker. Imagine the confidence you would have delivering your “riveting” speech when some guy with a flowbie haircut starts dozing off and snoring away at your feet. However getting great sleep is a challenge for many leaders.
The reasons for a lack of restful wholesome sleep are many. They might include, people problems, financial challenges, cash flow issues, organizational dysfunction, or negotiations for that big deal. Other causes may be is that adrenaline rush from the excitement of the day, or perhaps our sleep is interrupted for health reasons such as low blood sugar.
The truth is that too few hours of healthy, restful sleep hours has serious consequences both in the short term and the long term for leaders and entrepreneurs. Whether we are having trouble getting to sleep or if we are waking up at 2-3 in the morning and tossing and turning or pacing the floors while the rest of the household is sleeping, we are exhausted in the morning. In order to make it through the day we must resort to a big shots of caffeine and sugar. We need energy and end up craving carbohydrates.
Sleep deprivation affects our work too. When we are fatigued we tend to make poor decisions. Emotionally unbalanced, we say things we regret. Our minds when not rested, fail us when we try to concentrate on the important tasks we have aspired to undertake. We accomplish less, our problems accumulate, and because we are stressed about all the things that are going wrong, we can’t sleep again at night, in spite of the fact that we are overtired. The cycle continues.
Research shows that over the long term, lack of sleep can lead to depression, anxiety, lack of concentration and loss of memory. In addition sleep deprivation affects our relationships, as well as our mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Lack of sleep can lead to blood sugar issues, immune dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction, weight gain, heart issues, and serious illnesses.
So what can we do to improve the quality of our sleep, besides quitting our jobs or closing our businesses?
1. Manage your sleeping environment! Research shows that having a darker room with minimal artificial light improves sleep times. Shutting off electronic devices and their notifications gives your brain a better chance of relaxing. In addition, having a sleep routine that is static gives you a better chance of optimizing your sleep hours. Napping might just be part of your routine.
2. Get some exercise! One of the reasons that many people have trouble sleeping is because they are in sitting or resting positions most of the day. Exercise can clear the mind of those nagging thoughts, add oxygen to the bloodstream, and set you up for a good night’s sleep. Going out for a walk or hitting the gym earlier in the day may be just what your body needs to feel that ready for a better sleep. You will want to avoid exercising right before bed if you have sleeping challenges as this may speed up your metabolism and leave you wide eyed when the rest of the house is snoring.
3. Try nutrition! Common sense nutritional practices like avoiding caffeine later in the day or eliminating those after dinner snacks can make a huge difference for some people with insomnia. Relaxing teas like chamomile or even peppermint can improve your chances of a good night sleep. Supplementation with melatonin, GABA, 5HTP or herbs like valerian can make you sleepy. If it’s your brain that is racing, one of my favorite supplements is vitamin B complex, which has helped me get through many bouts of stress.
Reducing stress by putting things in perspective and getting clarity on those things that are important to us as leaders can often relax us more than any drug. When we are at peace with the challenges of the day and our ability to overcome them we are more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep. Resolving chronic sleep issues can take time, but rest assured that they can be overcome. Wouldn’t it be nice to be like Gerry Chidiac and be able to fall asleep whenever you wanted? It is possible, and a great sleep will help give you a clearer perspective concerning your role as a leader in achieving a greater future for your company.
Dave Fuller, MBA, is the author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy and wrote this article because he woke up at 3 am one night this week. Dave is a business coach in Prince George but has clients across North America. Have business problems that are keeping you awake at night? Email firstname.lastname@example.org