Written by: Josh Walker
At some point you might have heard that, to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to survive on just a few hours sleep. Twitter’s founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said at one point how he was only getting four to six hours of shuteye a night and entrepreneur and former CEO of Yahoo! Marissa Mayer is renowned for getting just four hours.
But, when it comes to sleep, less isn’t always more. As MOGUL alumni, naturopathic doctor, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur Dr Meghan Walker recently told us, “harnessing the power of sleep to fuel your movement is imperative for high performing entrepreneurs.”
Here, we outline some simple steps you can introduce to your busy routine to improve your sleep hygiene and ensure your chances of getting a good night’s sleep are as high as they can possibly be.
But first, what is sleep hygiene?
In short, sleep hygiene is a name for the things you do to ensure you’re getting the best possible night’s sleep and, as a result, are as productive as you can be the next day. Not only is getting a good rest important for your health, but it’s easier to achieve than you might think. With a few lifestyle changes you could be clocking the recommended seven to nine hours a night.
First, ready up for routine
If there’s one thing that will help you get to sleep, it’s setting up a routine that you feel you’ll be able to keep to easily. Set yourself a bedtime that suits you, try and wake up at the same time every morning and put something in place that you can do to relax you in the lead-up to bed. It might be tough at the beginning, but your sleep cycle will thank you in the long-run.
Second, cut the caffeine
It’s obvious, right? The drinks that keep you awake during the day aren’t going to be a help when it comes to slowing down at night. Avoid coffees and teas in the hours leading up to sleep. Alongside caffeine, alcohol and nicotine can interfere with your rest, as will certain foods that are fatty or rich in sugar.
Third, steer clear of screens
Again, it’s easier said than done and you’ve probably heard it before, but spending time in front of a screen before going to bed is only going to hinder the quality of your sleep. Limit the time you spend in front of phones, televisions and computers and, when you’re actually in bed, turn off notifications so you’re not interrupted by consistent noises or flashes of light.
Fourth, get out and about
The best night’s sleep often comes when you’ve taken steps throughout the day to get ready for bed. Exercise is one such step and, not only is it good for your overall physical and mental health, but can have huge benefits on your sleep cycles. However, intense exercise late at night can have the opposite effect so take the time to get to know your routine, and work out what works best for you.
Finally, make sure your bedroom’s as sleep-ready as possible
Your pillows should be comfortable, your mattress should be sturdy and your lights shouldn’t be too bright if possible (both inside the room and coming in from outside). The temperature of your room also plays a huge role in the quality of your rest. Research suggests between 60 and 67 degrees is the sweet spot.