The Dalai Lama said that, “sleep is the best meditation.” Sleep plays an important role in our ability to function. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are driven, passionate individuals, that often forgo hours of sleep in favor of working harder and longer. Often, entrepreneurs believe that working longer hours directly correlates to success. When you are passionate about what you do, sleep is the farthest thing from your mind. Is losing an hour or two of sleep really that bad for you? According to experts, sleep plays a major role in our overall health and well-being. Check out the downside of skipping the shuteye:
- Mood. Have you seen a toddler having a meltdown because he’s tired? We don’t grow out of that kind of irritability. The sleepier you are, the crankier you become. Turns out losing sleep directly affects your body’s ability to filter and process emotions. Overworking yourself to the point of sleep deprivation causes you to be irritable, angry and all around hostile. Depression has also been noted as a side effect of sleep loss. In short, the more sleep deprived you become, the less empathetic and understanding you are to those around you. The less you sleep, the more your team suffers from your irritability. Go take a nap!
- Thinking and Decision Making. Mental performance declines severely due to sleep deprivation. A lack of sleep impairs your ability to make good decisions because your brain cells have not had time to rest and repair. Sleep plays a vital role in allowing your brain to convert important information into long-term memories. Sleep deprivation may increase your chances of making risky decisions for your business that you would not have otherwise made. Sleep allows your brain to recharge and process your thoughts. A lack of sleep may lead to poor information recall, which can negatively affect your daily work. Not to mention a lack of sleep directly correlates to a decline in your creativity. Go to bed.
- Overall Health. A lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Your immune system cannot operate at it’s full potential unless it is well rested. Your cognitive functions slow down significantly when you lose sleep. This negatively affects your ability to react in dangerous situations. Don’t cross the street if you’re sleepy. You may not see that bus coming. Did you put your PJs on yet?
Sleep is so important that experts believe the human body can only go two weeks before dying from lack of sleep. At that point, your immune system would shut down and you would succumb to any number of infections. Sleep deprivation even ages your brain a total of 3 to 5 years. The moral of the story? To be your best self, get the best amount of sleep. Experts agree we should all be getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
- Stick to a Routine. Entrepreneurs are busy. Running a small business has innumerable responsibilities. If you work late into the night, don’t wake up early. If you’re up when the rooster crows, go to bed early in the evening. Make sure you stick to a routine that reflects your working patterns and allows you to get that full 8 hours of sleep. Your body will know if you don’t. The sheep are waiting for you.
- No Food, Coffee, or Alcohol Before Bedtime. This one’s pretty obvious; caffeine won’t let you fall asleep, alcohol won’t let you stay asleep, and digesting food can lead to disjointed sleep patterns. If you’ve done all three you might as well resign yourself to working through the night and taking the morning off! Get those blackout shades ready.
- Get Cozy. Remember those giant, cozy hotel beds with tons of pillows and an extra fluffy comforter? Bet that was a great night’s sleep. Recreate that environment at home. Get tons of pillows. Or get rid of pillows if they don’t make you comfortable. Add another blanket, or take that down comforter off the bed in the summer. Keep the room cool. Cool air induces, and helps you maintain, sleep. Make sure your curtains block out excess light. If the only time you get a break is during the day, consider blackout shades to keep your bedroom dark. Get your best sleep each and every night, because it’s that important. As Nike says, “Just do it.” Or in this case, just don’t do it and go to bed.
So get to bed, entrepreneurs! Sleep long, sleep well. Recharge, reset, and refresh. You’ll be able to handle whatever the day throws at you with a clear head and strong body. You’ve got this; we believe in you! Researching alternative lending options? Check out BizLender online or call 855-433-8641. BizLender has been offering lending solutions since 2013, and emphasizes working smarter, not harder, by using technology to fund small businesses in as little as 24 hours.