Insomnia in the business world: how to turn off your brain when you can’t stop thinking

If you ask a psychologist about what problems most often arise in people who have their own business, he will no doubt answer that each of them at least once complained about problems with sleep. Yes, it seems that entrepreneurs are really full of profane in this matter. Having received freedom from rigid graphics and pressure “from above” as a reward for their courage, most of them could not avoid the side effect of these great advantages - insomnia.

It turns out that running your own business is a big stress!

Maybe you are lying in bed, and a million new ideas are spinning in your head: "How can I increase this damn conversion? Maybe we can increase our presence on social networks? Or hire new copywriters? And it’s time to fire Sergei, or you’ll be completely relaxed." Perhaps you have already dozed off, but, suddenly waking up, are desperately trying to force yourself not to forget some extremely important detail, as you think at that moment. Or maybe you are just worried and go to bed immersed in dark thoughts about the future of your business, smoothly flowing into thinking about the insolvency of you as a person and the futility of being.

If you see yourself in these lines, the next sentence should now be your life credo. Print it on a piece of paper and hang it in the bedroom:

Work on yourself and a good dream are not the things from which you need to choose only one.

Thanks to the advice outlined in this article, you will very soon be able to get rid of what prevents you from simultaneously being the captain of your own ship and enjoying a fantastic night rest.

You do not understand how important sleep

Fanatical desire to work all night long, common among startups, is a sign of amateurishness and short-sightedness.

I think many at least once, at a business meeting, became witnesses of a conversation between two young businessmen, each of whom with pride in his voice tried to convince the other that he was sleeping less. Personally, these guys remind me of two bully boys in the sandbox, arguing about whose cake will last longer, and not noticing how it starts to rain.

It looks pretty funny, but if you think about it, there is nothing funny about it - some entrepreneurs really do crazy experiments with themselves, the goal of which is to shorten the time of their sleep as radically as possible. And then they walk like zombies and break into employees with or without staff.

It is believed that for a full sleep a person needs 8 hours. Some people have enough 7 or even 6 hours to feel great. In any case, if during your sleep the body does not have time to fully recover, the consequences are unlikely to please you.

Charles Chasler, an expert at Harvard Medical School of Sleep, proved that a four-hour sleep for five nights in a row has the same effect on memory, attention, and speed of thinking, like a state of alcohol intoxication.

Although a four-hour sleep for five days is a rather extreme situation, based on this study, we can safely assume that if you constantly sleep less than expected, this will ultimately lead to such a decrease in efficiency that you would get after one or two glasses of beer.

What is it all for: sleep is extremely important for those mental functions that you need as an entrepreneur. You may be able to sleep less than your body requires, but it will only mean that you work hard ... And not with the mind.

9 tips on how to overcome insomnia and work more effectively

1. Revise your relationship with coffee

If this miracle drug is your favorite means of increasing productivity, it will inevitably lead to insomnia. And even if now it seems to you that you sleep well despite the huge daily doses of caffeine, then everything can change radically. Not for the better, of course.

Over time, you will definitely appear (if you have not yet appeared) an abstinence syndrome, which is expressed in night gnashing of teeth (do you not feel sorry for enamel?), Sleepwalking (one of my friends almost jumped out of the balcony during nightly walking) and nightmares (brrr ... ).

In this regard, I sincerely urge you: refuse coffee or reduce its use to a minimum. Not enough willpower? Then replace it with other, more useful drinks, such as orange juice, green or ginger tea. Better yet, take into the habit of eating a banana or a handful of nuts in the morning - they will quickly fill your body with energy and make you more productive.

Re-read the paragraph - as if a clipping from some women's magazine. Yes, gentlemen, trite. So what to do? This is really useful advice, which everyone has heard about, but to whom no shit (sorry for my French) no one follows. So, let it happen again - suddenly, at least someone will be enlightened by awareness.

2. Watch what you eat before bedtime.

Despite the fact that this article is devoted to a large part of psychology, it is impossible not to mention this, because the mental state (including the quality of sleep) is very strongly connected with nutrition. More than you imagine ...

If you eat food that contains large amounts of sugar before bedtime, you get a surge of energy, which means that you will toss and turn in bed longer than you would like. Why waste time that you need for a healthy sleep? Eat less sweets and give preference to "good" fats and proteins, which include: boiled eggs, dairy products, light omelettes, salad without mayonnaise, honey. All this is perfect for an evening snack. The main thing is not to overdo it with the amount.

3. Leave your iPhone in another room.

In the daytime, smartphones, of course, greatly increase our productivity. But the fact that you can check your e-mail and, in fact, control all the components of your business when you fall asleep, does not mean that you should do it. Think for yourself: at best, you will begin to implement good ideas tomorrow, and at worst, you will already be nervous now because of the bad news and difficulties your company may face.

Leave your smartphone charged in another room. Turn it off.

4. Find a way to record thoughts from the “IT-SUPER-SUPER-IMPORTANT” category.

You are an entrepreneur, which means that 150 ideas are turning in your head regarding what you should or could do to improve your business. Naturally, your subconscious is going to give you nightly "insights." And, of course, these will be some of the best ideas you have ever had.

The secret is to keep a notebook next to the bed. When you cannot fall asleep because your brain is overloaded with good ideas, write them down so that nothing remains in your head that is not on paper. For thoughts of concern, by the way, this also works.

5. Calm down before bed

Going to bed immediately after a violent email dispute is stupid. “Cases” and “sleep” are two completely different modes of operation of your brain, and it takes time for your subconscious to go from one mode to another. In order to ensure your business is guaranteed to be effective, you need to make your schedule so that before going to bed you have at least two hours to rest.

A hint for those who are ready to get down to business seriously: dim the lights 45 minutes before bedtime. In 30 minutes - turn off all electronics. Talk to your family. Read the book. Sit in silence (if there is such an opportunity).

6. Make your bed a holy place to sleep only.

Do not pollute your bed using a laptop. Even in the morning. You can watch a little TV to get away from business and clear your head from thoughts. And you, of course, know what a “magical” action a boring book has: it’s worth reading a couple of pages, and you are already asleep. But work must remain outside the bed. Place your laptop in another room, next to the iPhone.

7. Do not save on amenities

You are an entrepreneur, which means that your time is of great value. You do not just spend a third of your life in bed - the quality of your sleep determines the practical results that you get the rest of the time. Make the quality of your sleep as good as possible.

The need for production costs is obvious to any businessman. The fact that a comfortable mattress will bring you "dividends" in the form of increased productivity should also not cause any doubts. Sleep is not the thing to save on.

8. Plan your day so that you can have some free time in the morning.

Many people believe that hard sleep is very important, so you need to force yourself to get up early, every day at the same time, and without delay. However, if you are struggling with severe insomnia, it is likely that for the most part your anxiety is caused by thoughts that you do not have enough time to rest before the 8 am appointment.

Therefore, at least for a few weeks, try the following: do not plan things earlier than 10-11 am. Sometimes indulge yourself in daytime sleep if you need it. Get rid of the habit of worrying about having to get up early. You are already so worried that you cannot fall asleep. Excessive excitement is absolutely useless. When your sleep gets better, you can set the alarm at an earlier time.

9. Allow yourself to think.

Many people who have long-term sleep problems force themselves to fall asleep as soon as they are in bed. You must have cursed yourself for going to bed, and thoughts immediately began to swarm in your head, right? Most likely, this is due to the fact that your body has forgotten how the process of falling asleep in a normal state. Still would! You are an entrepreneur.

Therefore, the last advice - be indulgent to yourself. If you’re not having any sleep problems for the first time, you may be too angry at yourself. Try to get rid of the constant thoughts that another awful night awaits you, and you are very likely to solve your problem.

Instead of reproaching yourself for thinking too much, do the opposite: systematically scroll your day in your head, trying to remember every detail. Soon you will find that you have begun to think about unusual, strange things - this means that your body is on the verge of falling asleep. Do not pay attention to it and do not worry that you cannot fall asleep - just let the brain do its thing.

If this does not work, here is another simple and very effective way to fall asleep (I use it myself when I can not sleep). Relax and start playing crazy dialogue. Mentally speak the first thing that comes to mind. First, it will be your voice, then the voices of your friends or relatives will appear. Do not be scared and do not think where they come from. Just do your own thing. Soon, crazy thoughts will flow into the images. A cat playing volleyball, a table that turns into your grandmother is all a sign that you are at the finish line. Now the main thing (as in the previous council) is not to stop.

If you are an entrepreneur, and insomnia adversely affects your mental abilities, making it difficult to achieve your goals, do not put up with it. Following the above recommendations, you can get rid of it once and for all.

Watch the video: What Happens To Your Body And Brain If You Don't Get Sleep. The Human Body (April 2020).


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