“You snooze, you lose”
We’ve all heard it, and most of us entrepreneurs, we even live by it. But is it putting us ahead of our competition? No, I can assure you, it is not giving you the advantage. Quite the opposite.
You, like most entrepreneurs I know, often wish you lived in a world where sleep was optional, convenience based. Most see sleep as an inconvenience that gets in the way of getting things done. Ideally, they would trade in sleep for an extra 8 hours in their day.
But there is a big flaw in this way of thinking and doing. When you are not getting enough sleep or not getting good quality sleep, your ability to make good decisions, your creativity, your ability to learn and your memory are all compromised. All the things you need most to get your business thriving. To win in business you must consistently make good decisions. If you’re making decisions, big or small, when you’re tired, you might be making poor decisions in the process. The cold, hard fact is, staying up late and postponing sleep is scientifically proven to make you DUMB!
Being in bed isn't the same as sleeping
Some of you are reading this saying “Ya, ya. But that’s not me, I get 8 hours a night”
Well, you can’t fool me. You see, sleep IS my business, so I know a few things about it. Just because you crawl your exhausted butt into bed at midnight and wake up at 8 am does not mean you got 8 hours sleep. In fact, you likely spend the first hour or two laying there thinking about all the things you need to do tomorrow, should have done today, want to do in the future and how you’re going to do them. Am I right? Or am I right? Oh, and we aren’t done, because you probably woke up once or twice too, didn’t you? Also, 8 hours of sleep is just a general guideline. Some may find that just 7 hours of good quality sleep is their healthy setpoint, or you may be like me and need 9 hours of sleep to function at your best. Truly, the only way to know how many hours of deep restful sleep you are actually getting is by tracking it, with a device like a Fitbit or something like it. Most are shocked to find how restless their sleep really is.
So let me emphasize for you, why you need good quality sleep as an entrepreneur.
Sleep facilitates insight
Participants in a study were asked to translate a string of digits using two simple rules that allowed the string to be reduced to a single digit (number reduction task). Out of three groups of participants (those who slept, those who stayed awake during the day, and those who stayed awake during the night), participants who got eight hours of sleep were two times as likely during retesting to gain insight into a hidden rule built into the task.
Lack of sleep impairs creativity
Some participants in a study went 32 hours without sleep while the control participants slept normally. When tested on flexibility and originality on figural and verbal tests, the sleep-deprived participants had severe and persistent impairments in their performance.
Integration of relational memory
Recent studies have also shown that sleep not only helps consolidate memory but also integrates relational memories. In one study, the participants were tested to see if sleep helped in this aspect. The results of this study showed that sleep is a significant factor in integrating memories, or gaining the bigger picture.
So tell me, how can you start or run a great business and pull ahead of your competitors if you’ve impaired your insight, creativity, and memory with poor sleep, or by staying up late trying to pull ahead of your competition?
So, take care of this little thing called sleep, something many other entrepreneurs aren’t doing. This will give you a competitive edge in business because you’ll be able to work smarter and for longer than your competition.
And if you’re like me and need help stopping that runaway thought train that fires up every time your head hits the pillow, you’re a great candidate for a weighted blanket. I never sleep without one now, when I try, that train is riding the rails again and I’m back to my old tricks. You can read more about how they work here >>> Click to read the article
Wishing you great sleep and success!
Julie Sloan – CEO/Founder
Wagner, U.; Gals, S.; Halder, H.; Verleger, R.; Born, J. (2004) Sleep inspires insight. Nature 427.
Home, J.A. (1988) Sleep loss and "divergent" thinking ability. Sleep: Journal of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine 11;6, pp. 528–536.
Walker, M.P. "The Role of Sleep in Cognition and Emotion." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1156. (2009): 181–83.