Learning To Switch Off: My Top 5 Sleep Strategies
It’s no secret that entrepreneurs make sacrifices in order to succeed. However, I don’t like the word ‘sacrifice’. The choices I make in business are all determined by my family, my values, and my goals.
I look at my life as a whole, rather than being made up of competing elements.
That said, I have to concede there are certain… trade-offs. And over the past two decades of running my own businesses, there are some friendships I’ve neglected and some moments I’ve missed.
But you know what I’ve realised? There is only one thing that’s ever gotten close to holding me back in my working life…
It’s absolutely unavoidable. Startups by their very nature demand an unearthly amount of your time. Before you have the cash flow to employ staff and before processes are in place to lighten the load, you are doing it all.
Once you become an established business, you’d think it would be time to catch up on all that sleep you’ve missed. Wrong.
Why? Because you’ve got so much more to lose. The people who work for you have families of their own and people to provide for. Payroll gets bigger and bigger as you grow. And then all of a sudden, there are literally thousands of lives and relationships linked to the success of your business.
That’s enough to keep anyone up at night.
So, over the years I’ve worked hard to develop nighttime rituals that help me disconnect, find a sense of peace (even during times of chaos) and keep the sleepless nights at bay.
As I’m winding down for the night, I take a moment to myself and meditate. The Headspace app is awesome and I urge everyone to get a subscription (it should be tax-deductible!). The moment I hear Andy’s voice, I instantly relax and find a place of calm.
Avoiding blue light
We all know we should avoid blue light, but it’s easy to forget. So, I’ve invested in Uvex Bluelight Blocker Glasses. I make sure I wear them for two hours prior to bed if I’m looking at screens.
Not everyone likes the idea of wearing headphones to bed, which I understand. But for me, they are a game-changer. I love the silence they bring.
Now, this is the tricky one. I try to stop working two hours before bed so my brain has a chance to switch off. It’s not always possible (and sometimes it wouldn’t matter if I gave my brain 10 hours), but just having the intention is a good start.
I meticulously plan the next day, breaking it down into 30-minute intervals. This process helps me let go of any anxiety. I know what I’m going to do and I know I have the time to do it. The result? I stop thinking about it.
These five strategies have worked miracles for me. Now a fixture in my daily routine, the continuity actually reinforces their positive impact.
How about you? What sleep strategies help you get a good night’s rest?