Better Sleep for Business: How Busy Entrepreneurs Can Hack Their Sleep

The stress of being an entrepreneur can have a severe impact on your quality of sleep. When you run your own business, you can’t exactly clock out at five and call it a day. Your work extends past business hours and sometimes into the wee hours of the night. Being mentally and physically active so late can rev up the body and mind, making it nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep. However, sleep deprivation will negatively affect your mental and physical health and can eventually impact your business.

You don’t have much control over the demands of your schedule as an entrepreneur, but there are ways to enable better sleep. There are alterations you can make to hack your sleep environment to make it more comfortable while establishing a nighttime routine that lets the body know it’s time for rest. Your sleep is deeper and more restorative, and you are able to function at your highest level and reach the goals you’ve set for yourself and your business.

Downloading the Day

As soon as you are ready to leave your workstation and wind down, do everything you can to download your day so you don’t carry it home with you. Make a to-do list of everything you need to address tomorrow — at least everything you can think of now. It may help to keep this list on your smartphone so you can add things if they pop up in your mind on your way home. Furthermore, now is a good time to make an entry into your work journal. Writing out all your tasks, thoughts, worries, hopes, and anything else weighing on your mind gives you agency over it. You can then leave all these thoughts at the office so they aren’t clouding your mind and keeping you up when you’re finally ready to get some sleep.

Overcoming Insomnia

If writing it all down isn’t enough to get business off your mind for the night, use these extra tips to beat entrepreneur insomnia:

  • Clear your mind with meditation or mindful breathing. Meditation trains your mind to be in the moment so you’re less likely to lie in bed ruminating over the day.
  • Turn down the lights and turn off the screens. Artificial light emits blue waves that disrupt the production of melatonin in the body, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Avoid nighttime stimulants including nicotine, caffeine, and too much food. And while you may think that nightcap helps you doze off, alcohol can disrupt the circadian rhythm. 
  • However, if you are a bit peckish, a calming, tryptophan-rich snack like turkey, yogurt, milk, bananas, or eggs can help your body and mind calm down before bed. Also, consider taking a magnesium supplement to relax muscles and relieve anxiety.

Creating a Comfortable Environment

While a steady bedtime routine helps signal to your mind and body that it’s time to unwind if your bedroom isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to want to be there at night. To make the coziest bedroom possible, work with your senses. Your body temperature naturally lowers at night when you fall asleep; turning down the thermostat a few degrees helps it get there. Block noise pollution with a white noise machine or guided meditation that lulls you to slumber. Block outside lights with blackout curtains, and learn to live without your television in your bedroom — that electric light will only keep you up. Finally, consider making the small investment in an essential oils diffuser that uses the power of aromatherapy to reduce stress and improve sleep.

Entrepreneurs may have to work outside the confines of nine-to-five life, but that doesn’t mean they should let their businesses interfere with their sleep. Insomnia can lead to problems with your physical and mental health and can eventually impact your business. To overcome sleep deprivation, learn to download the day as soon as you’re ready to leave work. Come up with some insomnia-beating habits, and avoid stimulants that keep you up at night. Finally, create the ultimate sleep environment by blocking out sensory overstimulation.