The Entrepreneurs Guide to Better Sleep
Look sleep is important. I know we’ve all been indoctrinated these outdated ideas of the Reganomics 80’s thing where if you want to succeed we’re expected to get up and go with like an hour of sleep, a cup of coffee, a suit, power tie and a briefcase (and likely some illicit drugs) so that we can squeeze 30 hours of work into 24 hour day. But if I’ve learned anything from watching Miami Vice it’s that we’re human beings and human beings need balance. Here are 5 easy ways to balance your inner Gordon Gekko with, well, an actual real person. Enjoy.
1. Avoid stimulants and poor food choices the night before.
One tip to waking up refreshed and ready to go is to keep your tummy happy at night. No, not happy like eat that whole gallon of double vanilla ice cream. More like take it easy on your tummy the last couple of hours before bed. Things like coffee, red wine and chocolate have been scientifically shown to disturb your sleep more than other foods. These foods will disturb your intestinal tract and have you tossing and turning for much of the night. This will certainly keep you from being at your best in the morning.
2. Go to bed happy
Most people in a relationship can attest to this one. Going to sleep angry at someone will totally drain you. The Bible even chimes in on this one: Ephesians 4:26 says don’t let the sun set while you’re still angry. In my relationship I never let the sun set on an argument, even if I have to compromise a little bit on my own ego. This isn’t always easy and sometimes it may not work. But as a parent and small business owner I have enough on my plate. When I go to bed I really want to rest. Keeping a happy relationship with your mate will help you wake up rested and ready to face the world.
3. Take some time to calm down before going to bed
Every night before I go to bed I do about 30 minutes to an hour of meditation. This is amazing as it allows you to throw out all the days worries and forget about the worries of tomorrow. The past is done and can’t be changed. The future is certainly not going to be better based on worrying all night and waking up cranky and groggy. Relax and allow your body to truly rest. The tool can also be practiced throughout the day to help keep you balanced in a world where “now” seems like a religious mantra.
4. Open a window
This surprising little tip actually has two benefits. The first is that it allows carbon dioxide a way out. This gas is naturally produced in our bodies and is expelled because it’s actually poisonous to us. The second is that it allows a way in for fresh oxygen. This is key to a good night sleep as well as to your general healthiness. Also, notice that I totally skipped over any flatulence jokes here. See, I’m all business.
5. Kill the lights!
Humans have an inner alarm clock that is set to the Sun. It’s called a circadian rhythm. This has been a part of our physiological evolution for some time now. The basic principle goes like this: our bodies said since the Sun provides light, heat, visibility for protection against predators and to see prey, we should do stuff while the Sun is up. This also meant that we’d sleep during the night. In our society we have man-made light so we’re not limited to waiting for the Sun. However, our bodies don’t know that yet. Turning off the lights gives your body the signal that it is sleepy time. Take advantage.
There are loads of these better night sleep ideas. Share ’em if you got ’em.
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