There are two major misconceptions about sleep that could be thwarting your chances of success: Sleep is a waste of time, and you can catch up on sleep. Instead of creating more waking hours to get things done, start scheduling time for better sleep at night, and you’ll be much more efficient with your time during the day. In short, sleep is the most underused tool for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
I can sleep when I’m dead
“I can sleep when I’m dead” has long been the mantra for the fast-paced business world. If you wanted to get ahead, you needed to give up sleep. However, the more research we do on the importance of sleep and the devastating effects of sleep deprivation, the more that mantra becomes a death sentence instead of a lifeline. Sleep deprivation will not only make you less capable of making sound decisions and a nightmare to be around, but it can lead to serious health risks like diabetes, high-blood pressure, and heart disease. So, if you wait to sleep until you’re dead, you may just get there sooner than you think.
You can’t catch up on sleep
Burning the midnight oil – staying up late to get one more thing done on our to-do list – may just be the reason you are constantly feeling behind in your work. When various sleep experts, including the National Sleep Foundation, recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, they didn’t just pull that number out of a hat. The recommended hours of sleep come from extensive research that proves the benefits of a good night’s sleep.
When we sleep, we go through five stages, the last stage of sleep being the REM stage. Each stage will help your body heal, regenerate, and finally allow your brain to sort, compile, store, and organize all the new information that we’ve received throughout the day. If we go through several sleep cycles each night, each cycle will spend a little more time on the various stages of sleep.
During the first four stages of sleep, our body repairs and restores itself, as well as strengthens our immune system. When we hit the REM stage, we are in the deepest sleep, our muscles become limp, and our heart rate slows. REM sleep plays a vital role in memory consolidation and learning.
Every time you go to sleep, the cycles start over, which is why you can never catch up on sleep. You can’t tell your body that you got plenty of stage 1-4 the night before, so just go straight to the REM stage. Sleep doesn’t work like Netflix, where you can magically pick up where you left off the night before. You have to go through each stage one after the other every night, allowing your body and your brain to get a full night to properly get through each stage for maximum benefits.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep
The last few cycles of sleep will allow you to spend more time in the REM stage where your brain is reaping the benefits. If you pull yourself awake too soon to start your day, your brain won’t have time to get organized and sort all the information from the previous day, which may lead to important things falling through the cracks. Forgetfulness is a detriment to any business owner.
Small business owners should invest time to sleep
Investing in a good night’s sleep will leave your refreshed and clear-headed so that you can make better decisions, work more efficiently so that you can keep all your deadlines, and still get a full night’s restorative sleep.
Save time with IT services and get more sleep
OnePointSync provides IT services and solutions to help small business owners in Colorado be more efficient with the right technology. We can help you save time so you can get a good night’s sleep.