As an entrepreneur, it’s all too easy to prioritize just about anything else over getting a great night’s sleep. It’s a well-known fact that there simply isn’t enough hours in the day for those who work for themselves and, when in the process of launching a new startup venture, that couldn’t be any more accurate.
Sleep deprivation is serious business and in recent years we’ve very much seen the encouragement of a ‘sleep faster’ mentality pushed by VC’s and angel investors, one which, when you consider that entrepreneurs have an increased risk of mental health problems due to pushing themselves too hard over long periods of time, clearly isn’t understood enough.
Whilst it is most commonly recommended that we do our very best to get eight hours of sleep each night, it’s previously been reported that six and a half hours is the ‘sweet spot’ for reducing the risk of cancer and that, overall, sleeping just five hours per night is deemed to be ‘slightly’ safer than eight. Of course, this hasn’t been proven in large scale studies, however if nothing else it goes to show that not getting a full eight hours isn’t necessarily the end of the world; however, there’s no denying the fact that getting significantly less is bad news, especially as an entrepreneur.
In the short term, sleep deprivation can result in:
- Decreased Performance & Alertness
- Occupational Injury
- Memory Impairment
As someone driven to making their startup a success, not a single one of these is good news. Running a startup can be difficult at the best of times, yet even a couple of night’s without a decent sleep can cause all of the above. There’s often no room for error in making decisions and the like and with too few hours in the day most of the time anyway, being unable to function properly is less than ideal.
When you look at the potential results of sleep-deprivation over the long-term, things get even more scary, with the most common of these being:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Attack
- Mental Health Problems
- Poor Quality of Life
Again, far from ideal for an entrepreneur working hard to build a business which results in a luxury lifestyle!
There is, however, things which can be done to help improve the quality of sleep and ensure that the potential for a poor night’s sleep results in a great rest and feeling ready and raring to go each morning. Known as ‘sleep hacks’ what better way to share these than an infographic which did the rounds a couple of months back:
11 Sleep Hacks Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know – An infographic by the team at SleepyPeople.com
At the end of the day, whilst as entrepreneurs we’re often tempted to burn the candle at both ends, if that lack of sleep impacts upon your ability to be productive and produce the goods during the day, is it really worth it? By all means pull the odd late-night every once in a while, however for the most, you’ll actually find yourself getting more done by hitting the hay a little earlier!