Entrepreneurship culture has for a long time perpertuated the ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ theory. The one where you have no time to do anything but work and getting enough sleep to function at your highest frequency is perceived as laziness. But with the rise in awareness of mental health and the importance of ‘self-care’, it has been established that good sleep is important and lack of sleep leads to low energy levels, and negative feelings. I find that energy levels and positivity are critical for tackling the day to day challenges that I encounter as an entrepreneur.
Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Tim Cook, Jack Dorsey and Ellen Degeneres all sleep for at least seven hours a night. But what is more important than long sleep hours is actually uninterrupted sleep. I find that when I don’t get enough sleep, I am incredibly stressed. The nature of my work as an entrepreneur is already stressful but a lack of sleep amplifies the stress and anxiety that I may feel and going through periods of bad sleep has resulted in complete burn out.
I have found that the amount of sleep I get is directly related to how alert and productive I am during the day. Sleep is so important for me that if I’m riddled with anxiety or have been tackling an unsolved problem for most of the day, I just go to bed and wake up the next morning to find that I have solved it within the first hour or two of waking up.
Stress is not so simple and like mental health, it is best understood and diagnosed by a professional. However, I have found that shutting off my racing mind to be able to get the sleep I need to thrive is dependent on the comfort of my bed. A good memory foam mattress and pillow goes a very long way to improving sleep. Ever sleep in a bed that is not yours and find that you’re just not able to sleep as peacefully as you usually do? Happens to me all the time. I absolutely love my bed at home and every time I’m away, except when I’m at a great hotel that has very comfortable beds and bedding, I just can’t wait to return to mine.
My sleep is one thing that I won’t compromise on my journey to building a wildly successful career and I will continue to ensure that I get the quality of sleep necessary for me to perform at my highest level.
How does sleep impact your stress levels and success? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.