As the driving force behind the success and growth of your business, it's essential that you are good to your body and brain by giving it the necessary rest and recuperation it requires overnight.
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to drift peacefully off to sleep at the end of a busy working day. Not only will it annoy you - and any sleeping partners - it will also result in a lack of motivation and productivity the following day.
Anyone desiring long-term success for their business should read on for my 7 top tips to ensure a quality night's sleep, giving you the drive to wake up day-in, day-out and commit 110% to your business and its growth.
1. Avoid stimulants before bedtime
Although you may need a couple of strong coffees in the morning to kick-start the day, stimulants such as caffeine should be avoided at all costs in the evening in order to get a better night's sleep and relax the brain. In fact, try your best to stop drinking caffeine or high-sugar drinks at lunchtime as caffeine can take many hours to leave your body's system. Alternatively, if you enjoy an evening coffee or cup of tea, make sure it's a decaffeinated one.
2. Switch off technology well in advance
It is scientifically proven that artificial lighting from backlit smartphones and laptop screens induces alertness in the body, keeping you awake for longer. Avoid the temptation of laying in bed, checking your emails and social media. A regular sleeping pattern is far more important and those emails can probably wait until the morning. In fact, many successful people check their emails and social media on waking, using the artificial lighting to help wake them up.
3. Transform your bedroom into a sleeping environment
The moment you walk into your bedroom, it's incredibly important that it creates the right environment for a relaxed, undisturbed sleep. A good ambient temperature is required to avoid overheating or feeling the chill. Consider external influences too. If natural light wakes you up too early in the mornings, try a black-out blind or curtain. If you have particularly noisy neighbours, consider placing something in your bedroom that creates a soothing white noise to drown them out. And, more importantly, ensure the bed itself is supremely comfortable, with a mattress and pillows that cater to your exact needs.
People who regularly exercise throughout the day greatly improve their sleep quality. It's scientifically proven that regular workouts can mitigate symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnoea, increasing the amount of deep sleep that you enjoy. Don't exercise too close to bedtime, however; give yourself at least a 3-hour window between finishing a high intensity workout and hitting the pillow to allow your body temperature to cool down, your metabolism and hormone levels to relax. For less energetic workouts such as Pilates and Yoga a shorter window of at least 2 hours will be sufficient.
5. Be smart about afternoon napping
Some people will swear by a quick power nap in the afternoon, but nap for too long and you'll find it even harder to drift off later in the evening. Limit your power naps to just 15-20 minutes and you'll still feel an energy boost without affecting your overnight sleeping pattern.
6. Create a bedtime ritual
Get into good habits with your sleeping by creating a bedtime ritual that you never deviate from. This should involve much of what we've already discussed, from a set time in the evening. Turn off all electronic devices, focus on relaxed breathing and consider a cooling shower to regulate your body temperature. If you're a born worrier, a sure-fire way to alleviate your brain thinking overtime is to write down on a notepad all your tasks and reminders for the following day - you'll be amazed at how much this reassures you!
7. Consider 'snooze foods'
Do you enjoy an evening snack? That's fine, so long as you're eating the right foods! Did you know that there are certain foods out there classed as 'snooze foods'? This is because they optimise the release of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Some of the best snooze foods include turkey, honey, warm milk, marmite, camomile, almonds and even bananas, which are carriers for magnesium and serotonin.
Running your own business takes hard work and dedication. Originally published at www.delphiniumbusinesscoaching.co.uk.