Mood swings, forgetfulness, lack of focus -- there are many side effects of not getting enough sleep that can impact your work and behavior -- essentially, your life. While many people brag about running on little sleep today, they could be in for a rude awakening. Running on fumes only results in irritable moods and the inability to get things done.
Successful entrepreneurs such as Arianna Huffington and Marc Andreessen make it a priority to get enough sleep every night. That could mean creating a routine, cutting down on sugar, shutting off your phone -- there are a number of ways you can start getting some zzz’s every night.
We’ve rounded up 15 tips from Entrepreneur.com writers and contributors to help you start getting enough sleep everynight.
1. Create a healthy sleep schedule.
Creating and committing to a sleep schedule is vital to ensure a steady night’s sleep every night of the week. To get you started, set an alarm at night to remind you to start getting ready for bed and one to help you wake up in the morning.
2. Trim down your workplace duties.
Whether you’re launching a new business or starting at a new company, it’s vital to set aside time to sleep. Evaluate your workload, prioritize the most important things and figure out what you can hold off on or pass along to co-workers who have more time. Prioritizing sleep starts with prioritizing your workday.
3. Stop drinking caffeine after lunch.
It’s OK to indulge in a cup of joe in the morning, but it’s important to refrain from consuming any caffeinated drinks in the afternoon or evening. If you do, you’re not only at risk of having trouble falling asleep but staying asleep as well.
4. Rethink your diet.
Cutting down on sugars and highly processed foods throughout the day will help you get a sound night’s sleep. These foods do harm to your metabolism and insulin levels, which directly impact your sleep. Also, refraining from any big meals two hours before bed will help you sleep better.
5. Get natural sunlight.
Sunlight supports the body’s circadian rhythms. Working by a window or taking a walk at lunchtime is a good way to get outside, and in the end, get a better night’s rest. Taking regular breaks from your computer screen can also result in more shut-eye.
6. Listen to your body.
No matter how many articles tell you to wake up early in the morning, the truth is, not everyone is a morning person. Everyone is different when it comes to sleep. That’s why it’s vital to listen to your body’s needs. If you force yourself to wake up early, you may not be able to get your best work done because your mind is not awake yet. Pay attention to when your body is tired and when it is awake to figure out the best times for you to get a good night’s sleep.
7. Relax before bed.
Take at least 10 minutes before bed to relax -- this could be through meditation or yoga. Doing something that focuses on your breathing will calm your mind and reduce stress to ensure a good night’s sleep.
8. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
A stable sleep routine reduces stress and even reduces risk for heart problems. Having this routine filters out stress hormones, which ultimately helps one’s heart avoid stress-induced issues.
9. List what you’re thankful for.
Instead of letting your mind race and reflect on the day’s worries, switch your thinking and start listing things that you are grateful for before going to bed. This positivity will make you happier and help you fall asleep stress-free.
10. Sleep-proof your bedroom.
For quality sleep, make sure you’re putting yourself in the right overnight setting. That includes factors such as light, temperature, noise and distractions. Eye masks, blackout curtains and earplugs can help you get started.
11. Turn off your phone.
To avoid any distractions at night -- whether that means any incoming calls or the temptation to look at Facebook -- turn off your phone before catching some zzz’s.
12. Don’t oversleep.
Even if it’s the weekend, you shouldn't sleep in. Spending too much time in bed can in fact decrease your energy, rather than boost it.
13. Work out.
Setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep starts with your actions during the day. Exercise directly correlates to better sleep. Walking, running, yoga -- whatever you can do to get a little workout in is helpful.
14. Avoid alcohol.
Steer clear of any alcohol before your head hits the pillow. Although it could make you drowsy, it’s likely you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to bed.
15. Your bed is for sleep only.
Your bed is for sleeping -- don’t bring work to bed with you or do any other activities such as watching Netflix or going on Facebook. As a matter of fact, you should even stay out of your bedroom unless you’re going to bed.