Sleep your way to success
Business leaders are often prone to insomnia, with all those ideas buzzing around in their heads all the time! But in order to stay productive and healthy, the NHS recommends that you get between 6 and 9 hours sleep every night. If you suffer from insomnia, or just want to supercharge your sleep routine, here are some tips!
Keep regular sleeping hours
Going to sleep at the same time every night will programme your body clock to get used to a set routine. This will make it more likely that you will fall asleep quicker each night, rather than lying awake mulling over all those new business ideas! It is also important to wake up at the same time as well; if you sleep in too often you will disrupt your routine and make it harder to stick to a regular bedtime.
Prepare for bed like you would for the boardroom
Getting good quality sleep takes work! You need to prepare for sleep just like you do all the other important tasks in your day. Try these wind-down methods and see which ones work best for you:
- Have a warm bath to get your body to an ideal resting temperature
- Write a ‘to do’ list for the next day to get all those pesky ideas out of your head and saved on paper
- Do some light yoga or stretching – but not any vigorous exercise as this will make you more alert!
- Listen to relaxing music
- Read a book – but not one about business!
- Avoid using any blue-light emitting devices (mobiles etc) for one hour before bed
If you’re still having trouble nodding off, try a wellbeing app such as Headspace, which has a whole sleep menu full of music, soundscapes, and sleepcasts to help you drift off.
Still having trouble? Maybe it’s your bedroom’s fault?
Experts claim that there is a subconscious connection between your bedroom environment and the need for sleep. It is therefore recommended that you keep your bedroom just for sleep, not for watching TV, and definitely not for working!
Other obvious sleep problem fixes include ensuring that your bedroom is dark enough, perhaps by investing in blackout blinds. You should also upgrade your pillows, mattress or bed if these have become uncomfortable. Try to keep the room between 18C and 24C for optimal sleeping temperature.
If you still can’t sleep
Consider keeping a sleep diary so that you can identify any common patterns with your sleep difficulties. For example, your sleep could be disturbed by certain medications, foods or drinks, or even regular evening activities such as sports clubs or social gatherings. If you can’t identify an obvious trigger, or if you have insomnia for longer than 4 weeks, contact your GP.