Stress and lack of sleep are very comfortable bedfellows, and their impact on our health is very similar. Mental health problems, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and a severely lowered immune system are just some of the side-effects of living a stressful lifestyle and not getting enough sleep. If you own a business, or are in the process of starting up a new business, then the chances are very high that you have experienced both at some point.
It is especially important under these circumstances for you to get enough sleep each night, with the magic number still being seven to eight hours of sleep. The area of the brain that affects decision making, creative thinking, memory and reaction – the cornerstone of any entrepreneurial spirit – relies on adequate sleep to function properly. Make the following changes in your daily routine to ensure you get the necessary hours of sleep each night.
Laptops, desktop computers, tablet computers and cellphones all affect our brains, whether it is the brightness of the screens or simply the fact that they keep our brains overly active. Avoid all of these devices for at least an hour before going to bed. Switch to something enjoyable and relaxing, such as reading a book (a real book, not an eBook) or spending quality time with your family.
An early evening drink, or a glass of wine with dinner is fine, but you should not consume any alcohol later than three hours before bedtime. You might think that a late night drink helps you to relax and fall asleep faster, but you will sleep fitfully and wake up frequently, leaving you feeling far from refreshed in the morning.
Write to Sleep
Do you find yourself analyzing the day, thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow, or just bothered by certain events? Write about them in a journal or notebook, creating your to-do list, or just examining your concerns, so that your mind is less occupied by these thoughts when you get into bed.
Set the Mood
Light, sound and temperature all play a role in our ability to sleep well, so look at whether your bedroom promotes this or not. Avoid bright lights, and light distractions such as the glow of a smartphone, loud or sudden noises, and an uncomfortably warm environment.
Your 24-hour sleep-wake cycle is regulated by serotonin and dopamine, and you can reset your circadian rhythm by exercising regularly. A healthy workout routine will release serotonin and dopamine in your brain, ultimately helping you to sleep soundly at night.
If you feel like a late-night snack, avoid any with high levels of sugar or carbohydrates. These can easily disturb your sleep, so look instead for snacks high in protein and fat. These ensure a steady release of energy, so you body won’t experience any major fluctuations during the night.
Bright light, preferably sunlight, is another important part of your sleep-wake cycle, so make a habit of enjoying your morning coffee, and breakfast, in a room that is bathed in bright sunlight. This not only helps to wake you, but will also help keep your circadian rhythm in perfect balance.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.