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Start-Ups

How Getting Enough Sleep Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur

By Townes Haas   |    August 29, 2014   |    9:36 AM

Getting enough sleep is an important part of business success

If Arianna Huffington thinks that entrepreneurs can “sleep their way to the top,” we should all be taking her advice. It’s no secret that getting enough sleep is important, but sometimes we get so caught up in our never-ending to-do lists that we choose to ignore the benefits of sleep.

If you’ve fallen into a cycle of sleep deprivation, here’s a friendly reminder to make sleep a priority.

Everyone needs adequate sleep, but entrepreneurs need it more

Not getting enough sleep can lead to a host of health problems, including weight gain and decreased immune functions. But getting enough shuteye every night is also great for your business.

If you’re tired, so are your neurons

While you’re sleeping, so is your brain. Forbes cited a study from Nature that found that when we’re tired our brain cells could take it upon themselves to nod off. Do you really want your cognitive functions to slow down in the middle of an important meeting?

Sleep loss also impairs judgment. According to WebMD, losing sleep actually impairs our ability to logically assess our lack of sleep, and we begin to think that we’ve adapted. Not getting enough sleep also affects creativity. You know, the type of creativity that helped you come up with that innovative new business idea? Without adequate sleep, breakthroughs are a lot more difficult to come by.

5 simple ways to get more sleep at night

Many of these might seem obvious, but we often get caught up in our daily lives and forget about the ways that we can get better sleep each night:

1. Put your phone in another room: If you’re tempted to check emails before bed, or in the middle of the night, put your phone somewhere else while you’re sleeping. Additionally, if you use your phone as an alarm, the effort of getting out of bed to turn it off in the other room will help you wake up the next morning.

2. Set a regular bedtime: Aim to go to bed at the same time every night. It’s sort of like “scheduling” your workouts – you’re less likely to skip something with a set time.

3. Set a regular wakeup time: Getting up at the same time every day is just as important as having a consistent bedtime. Try to stick to these times on the weekends, too.

4. Create a nighttime schedule: Plenty of people have a morning schedule that helps them transition into their day, so why should bedtime be any different? You could read before bed, do some yoga or meditation, pick out the next day’s outfit and breakfast, or any combination of things that help you shift into sleep mode.

5. Exercise in the morning or afternoon: CNN reported that The National Sleep Foundation found that morning or afternoon exercise helps deepen sleep and reduce the time it takes to fall into a deep sleep. You can even sneak in a quick workout at the office.