There is one overlooked component to small business success and it’s something we don’t do enough of. As an entrepreneur, sleep always seems like a luxury that rates far behind everything else in your life. But unfortunately, not getting enough if it, can also harm what you are working so hard to accomplish. With all the economic uncertainty in the world, restful sleep may be even more elusive today.
On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Giles Watkins helps decision makers solve problems, achieve balance, deliver superior results and sleep better at night. He is author of Positive Sleep: A Holistic Approach to Resolve Sleep Issues and Transform Your Life.
Sleep and Success
Giles believes people learn to “cut sleep” early in life. This results from procrastination. People choose to go to bed late or get up early in the morning. As a result, they sacrifice sleep for something else they want to do.
But, Giles reminds us of something. Failing to get enough sleep hurts your business performance. Giles explains that failing to get restful sleep for more than one night impairs brain functions. As a result, they start to degrade. This proves especially true of leadership and management capabilities. Giles details what happens when you sleep. He says that “the first three hours are for physical recovery and the next three hours are the mental recovery. At that time, you start to integrate your learnings from the day and memories get filed properly- it’s like an operating system updating.”
Try to get seven or eight hours of sleep a night, Giles recommends. This generally proves ideal for adults. Recognize the existence of “larks and owls.” These people get up early or stay up late according to habit or culture. But Giles believes genetically, everyone needs the same amount of sleep.
Do you suffer from bad nights of sleep? Giles recommends taking baths with natural oil or salt. Try reading a book or use a Kindle. He also recommends stay away from electronic devices. Avoid cell phones and tablets since they project a blue light. This hurts your ability to rest your brain. Giles explains that “getting too much stimulation keeps you in the work mode. Winding down is the best way to prepare yourself to sleep and not load new information on top of what happened during the day.” He recommends weighted blankets that are seven to thirteen percent your body weight. This creates the reminiscence of being in the womb or getting “tucked in” at night as a child.
Does sleeping present a problem? Giles suggests a body scanning technique from your head to your toes. He adds that “you start by thanking each part of your body. If you do this three or four times and don’t fall asleep, you will be in a more relaxed state.” This seems similar to counting sheep. It represents something repetitive your mind can focus on.
Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show (and then get some sleep!)