With a hectic schedule and impressive to-do lists, life as an entrepreneur can all too quickly encroach on your sleeping habits. Although aiming for the recommended eight hours, we usually find ourselves chasing that all important sleep.
Sleep is essential for both physical and mental health, however according to new research by Aviva, one in five adults have suffered from insomnia in the past year, and unsurprisingly, a quarter (25%) prioritise getting a better night’s sleep as a primary health ambition.
While one bad night won’t do much harm, Neil Shah from The Stress Management Society highlights that getting less sleep than you need “reduces your ability to cope with stress.” This can kick-off a viscous cycle where a busy mind keeps you awake, you get less rest than you need, then worry about this process repeating again and again. This is not only frustrating and distracting, but can also impact your productivity throughout the day.
As an entrepreneur, when work rarely finishes at the office door, getting enough sleep may be even more of a challenge. You are likely to be the driver of business, and while your ambitious, self-starting nature allows you to succeed in the workplace, these traits may also hinder your ability to switch off before bed.
Unlike the usual 9-5, you could often find yourself rarely working an average 40 hour week, and instead work long days, late into the night. This is unsurprising, as research has found that micro-business owners work 63% longer than average. You are also likely to have a huge personal investment in your business, possibly after taking a daunting and exciting leap to go out on your own. This undoubtedly adds pressure and makes worry-free sleep and a work-life balance even harder to achieve.
Although sounding solely like barriers between you and a good night’s sleep, these commitments also provide a perfect reminder for why good quality rest should be top of your list. As the face of your business, which you’ve worked so hard to build up, you stand as a walking reflection of what your company is all about. Ensuring you’re alert, awake and energised will put you in the best possible position to promote your business, deal with any setbacks, and support and inspire your employees.
If this is sounding all too familiar, we’ve put together a few simple tips to help you reduce stress and get a better night’s rest, to ensure you’re ready to drive your businesses forward each day:
1) Keep a note pad beside your bed: Before bed, clear your mind of your mental to-do list. Write down any tasks that are bothering you and go to bed untroubled, confident they can be dealt with tomorrow.
2) Use the right kind of technology: Staying away from screens isn’t easy, so if you’re tied to your phone all evening, why not try an app that offers some sleep monitoring technology. These can track the hours you spend sleeping, and both the quality and type of sleep you are experiencing. Some can even provide recommendations on ways you can improve your night’s rest.
Aviva found that 80% of adults that do so, find it helpful and easy to integrate into their daily lives.
3) Be grateful and reflect on what you’ve achieved: This is probably the easiest of the three – simply acknowledge what you’re grateful for before bed. Whether that’s praising yourself for the hard work you’ve been doing all week, or appreciating a valued employee, these positive thoughts could help you drift off, stress free.
Feel free to find out more from Aviva’s work-life balance hub http://www.aviva.co.uk/private-health-insurance/health-tips/work-life-balance/