Better sleep means better business. Here’s how to get the best rest of your life without jeopardizing your performance.
Sleep is essential for high performance. Deep down, everybody knows this. But, it tends to be the first thing neglected during busy, high-stress periods. People require quality sleep—especially entrepreneurs, who need that one-percent edge to beat the competition.
If you find yourself reaching that third cup of coffee just to get through the morning, take note. Here are 12 ways to pinch your daytime routine, regulate your sleep, and take complete control of your life and business.
1. Wear blue-light blocking glasses at night.
2. Have a morning routine.
Use a dawn simulator for a consistent wake time, ideally 90 minutes before starting work. Resist the temptation to immediately check emails and messages – you’re not fully alert to process or respond to them properly. Plus, your stress hormone, cortisol, is at its peak. Leave it for 15 to 90 minutes until you’re fully awake, hydrated, and fueled.
3. Try morning exercise.
Appalachian State University found that morning workouts provide the best sleep at night. Those who exercised at 7 a.m. slept longer and deeper than two groups that trained at 1 p.m. or 7 p.m.
You don’t have to destroy yourself with high-intensity training; do some stretching or yoga. If proximity isn’t an issue, walk or cycle to work.
4. Get more sunlight.
Science proves that getting more sunlight helps you sleep better at night. Sunlight boosts serotonin levels, sets the body clock to daytime, improves alertness, and boosts performance. Stand in the sun (or fresh air, if it’s cold) with your morning coffee, and get your day off to the right start.
5. Hack your office.
If you’re stuck in an office away from natural light, try to sit by the window. If that’s a no-go, invest in a daylight lamp and humidifier to purify the air around your desk. Go outside after lunch for a 15-minute walk and expose your body to sunlight. Continuous sunlight during the day informs your body clock that it’s daytime, which means more alertness and productivity.
6. Avoid alcohol.
7. Avoid evening overstimulation.
Don’t drink caffeine at least six hours before sleeping—it takes about that long for it to leave your system.
8. Have an evening routine.
A low-impact evening activity like swimming helps clear your mind after a hectic day. Dim the lights in your home. Go for less powerful lamps or candles.
9. Take a magnesium supplement.
10. Perfect your sleeping cave.
Humans sleep deeper in a dark environment. Our ancestors woke, worked, and slept based on the sun, back in the age where you couldn’t do much in total darkness except sleep. Having any light sources in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep patterns, so eliminate your alarm clock if it has a digital screen, or get an alarm clock with a dimmer. Put black electrical tape over bright LEDs. Get blackout roller blinds.
11. Be obsessed with cleanliness.
A bit of fair warning: make sure you’re not eating as you read this. Dust mites live in clothing, carpets, and bedding. They like warm environments, and they eat your dead skin. You could be sleeping on a surface full of their feces, which cause allergies and can wake you up. It’s nasty, but true.
The solution? Have minimal furniture in your bedroom. Wash your sheets at least once a week. Wipe down all surfaces with antibacterial wipes. A HEPA filter that emits no light or sound and removes dust mites is also a good investment.
12. Wear nasal strips.
Do you wake up during the night with a dry mouth? You’re a mouth breather. It’s better to breathe through your nose when sleeping. Experiment with nasal strips to open your nose and reduce congestion.
It’s just part of our biology to sleep well. Up your sleep game and you might be surprised with the results.