As a busy entrepreneur, never fail to understand the importance of a good night’s sleep.
Most of us, especially when we are young, underestimate the importance of sleep. We work hard, burning the candle at both ends, and party hard on weekends, only to spend Sunday in a dazed state, sleeping off the excesses of the week gone by.
Most entrepreneurs are a sleep deprived lot! Their focus is their work and they slog late into the night week after week. For many, even weekends are spent working. For those entrepreneurs who juggle home and work, night-time is the most peaceful time to work – a time when distractions are the least. And often, when they sleep, their minds are so wired up that they find it impossible to doze off. They either suffer from insomnia or keep waking up in the night, ending up with a disturbed sleep pattern.
In the long run, sleep deprivation is extremely harmful to health. Lack of sleep not only causes health problems but it also affects your productivity. You may think that you are getting more done by burning the midnight oil. However, that is simply not true. You actually end up stressing your body and mind which results in you being tired, foggy-minded and unable to perform at your peak.
When you don’t sleep enough, you end up incurring sleep debt. For example, if you sleep an hour less every day, by the end of the week, you have a sleep debt of seven hours. As your sleep debt increases, you end up more distracted and less productive. And, it tells on your health too.
In her book, ‘Fit After Forty’, Dr Sheela Nambiar says, “Sleep has been found to be one of the most important aspects of well-being. It’s a common myth that you can get by with little sleep… Sleep is required for repair and regeneration of the body and for cognitive purposes like memory and thermoregulations. Good quality sleep, therefore, should be very much a part of a healthy lifestyle. Deep sleep that occurs during the slow wave sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) is critical for memory and brain function.”
Here’s a list of some of the health issues you could face if you don’t sleep enough or if you don’t sleep well.
- Lack of sleep can make you obese. If you sleep less, it increases your appetite and you end up eating junk food or overeating, which we all know is not good for us.
- You end up irritable when you don’t get enough sleep. Who wants to be in a bad mood all day? And, if you are irritable, you end up alienating people around you. Not the best way to start or sustain a business is it?
- Your concentration gets affected. As an entrepreneur you need razor-sharp focus to grow your business. Don’t let your concentration get affected. It will have serious effects on your business
- Sleep deprivation puts you at higher risk for heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
- Poor sleep has been linked to depression.
- When you don’t sleep enough, your immune system gets compromised and you are more susceptible to illnesses. A busy entrepreneur can most certainly not afford to end up lying in bed sick!
- Your social interactions get affected by lack of proper sleep.
- When you don’t sleep enough it results in day-time drowsiness and fatigue as well as memory and attention problems which directly impact your work and productivity.
As you can see, sleep not only affects your health; it also affects your ability to concentrate as well as impacting your productivity negatively. Entrepreneurs are on a constant treadmill with problems, decisions and a seemingly endless list of tasks to complete. So, sleep is put on a backburner.
However, rest and recuperation play an important role in refreshing us, rejuvenating us and helping us to face the next day with a clear, focused mind. So, you can see why it’s important for you as an entrepreneur to ensure that you get enough sleep. For most people, six to eight hours of undisturbed sleep a night are enough. You will know how much you need. If you wake up rested after six hours of sleep, well, that is what works for you. If you are still tired or drowsy, you need more sleep.
Make a promise to yourself to get enough sleep. Fix a routine and stick to it. Along with exercise and healthy eating, sleep is one of the pillars of good health. Never ever underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.