sometimes have trouble sleeping. On a recent night of tossing and turning, I got up to check my phone and found an article that had been emailed to me about, you guessed it, sleep deprivation. I have a friend who calls the many things that keep business owners up at night “entrepreneurial insomnia.”
There is a real impact on entrepreneurs when they don’t get enough sleep. “The negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep,” the article states. That’s scary. We would never suggest that someone work while intoxicated, but the effects of not sleeping may be even worse for performance.
Lack of sleep leads to irritability, memory lapses, decreased creativity, and impaired judgment, which aren’t things you want to occur in the workplace. Beyond work, not getting enough sleep is linked to a host of health issues including obesity, diabetes and heart attacks.
Health professionals seem to agree that most people need from seven to nine hours of sleep each night. The problem is that more than half of Americans report getting less than the suggested minimum of seven hours of sleep. Forbes cites a recent survey of Inc. 500 CEOs which “found that half of them are sleeping less than six hours a night.” And, it isn’t just a problem at the top of the corporate ladder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “a third of U.S. workers get less than six hours of sleep each night, and sleep deprivation costs U.S. businesses more than $63 billion annually in lost productivity.”
The writer of the Forbes article, Travis Bradberry, outlines the following ways to get more sleep:
- Stay away from sleeping pills (or anything that sedates you, like alcohol)
- Stop drinking caffeine (after lunch)
- Avoid blue light at night
- Wake up at the same time every day
- No binge sleeping (in) on the weekends
- Learn how much sleep you really need
- Stop working
- Eliminate interruptions
- Learn to meditate
Remember, as Dr. William Dement, a pioneer in sleep medicine said, “You’re not healthy unless your sleep is healthy.”