With today’s post, we are digging into a little Healthy Entrepreneur series. I really want to try to give you some tips and tools, and just remind you how important being healthy is, especially as an entrepreneur.
Oftentimes as we’re trying to build our own business, we lose track of what is really healthy for ourselves and our wellbeing. We’ve got goals, we’ve got deadlines, we’ve got sales, so our self-care really takes a beating, becoming the last thing on the list. With this series, I want to really dig into self-care and the importance of some healthy habits.
Why Sleep Is Important
The first one that we’re gonna talk about today is the power of sleep. Sleep is critical to every aspect of our health. In fact, there is not any part of our health that is not negatively impacted by a lack of sleep. Lack of sleep negatively impacts every marker of health:
- One of the most important things that happens during sleep is a clearing out of debris. There’s a certain part of the sleep cycle that is almost like a rinse cycle for our brain. There’s a lot of stuff that happens inside our body during the day and sleep is when we clean out the system. So, if we don’t get enough quality sleep, our body never gets to do that and it accumulates over time.
- Brain performance. Think about your brain as a sponge. You wake up in the morning freshly rested and the sponge is dry. As you go through the day, everything that happens is like adding water to the sponge and at the end of the day, the sponge is soaked. Then, when you get some proper sleep, the sponge dries out again. But if you don’t get enough sleep, the sponge stays soaked and there’s no way to add more. I highly recommend watching a TED talk called Sleep Is Your Superpower
- Weight and hormones. Sleep is a weight loss strategy. I’m a wellness coach and a personal trainer. I’m also 51 years old and has dealt with menopause. When I hit full menopause with hot flashes, it was absolutely awful because my sleep was completely affected. I really did feel like I was walking around like a zombie, and I put on weight and it was all connected. Your sleep regulates your hormones. Once you go to sleep, you shut down the system, your body recovers. A lack of sleep, directly affects your hormones negatively.
How to Get More Sleep
How do you get more sleep? It’s on you (unless you have a newborn, then just sleep whenever you get a chance). The only thing that’s going to change your sleep habits is you. So, make sleep a priority.
Here are some things that you can do to improve your sleep:
- Get outside into the sunlight when you wake up. After you wake up, get outside as soon as you can. The reason being is that we have sensors behind the eyes that act as our circadian rhythm clock. So, getting outside into actual sunlight sets off an internal clock that will start to release sleep hormones as the day progresses, and that will make it easier to go to sleep later at night. So, if you’re an entrepreneur, find a way to get outside.
- Sleep in a dark room. This is key. If you’ve got any weird red or blue lights, make sure you turn them off or cover them up.
- Quiet space or white noise. Since I live in New York City, quiet space is not possible, so I use a fan to create white noise.
- Have the right bedroom temperature. The ideal sleeping temperature is 68 degrees. Again, I live in an apartment where I’m not in charge of the temperature, so I ended up buying a Chillipad. It’s not cheap, but it’s totally worth it.
- Get electronics away from you. I know this is hard, especially if you’ve got teenagers that you need to be up for. I have a Do Not Disturb on my phone that starts at 10 pm and doesn’t end until 6 am, but my family can get through that Do Not Disturb. That’s how I manage that.
- Listen to some type of sleep Nidra meditation. That usually strikes me right out. I also have a notebook near my bed so that I can jot some things down instead of thinking about them all night.
- Caffeine and food. Everyone’s got a different sensitivity level to caffeine. Some people can’t have any of it. Some people can have green tea but not coffee. Some people can drink as much as they want and go straight to bed. My advice is to be really sensitive about your caffeine intake. Make sure that you’re not eating food near your bedtime. Your body needs to do a lot while you sleep and if it’s also digesting food, that’s going to impact the quality of your sleep. So, try to finish eating as early as possible, at least two-three hours before you go to bed.
Hopefully, this has sparked some curiosity in you and if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me.
In the meantime, remember, you are magnetic and people are waiting to hear what you have to say.