Sleep Routine and Productivity
Hello Darlings, People are usually under impression that entrepreneurs require little sleep while staying continuously productive. Nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve all read those articles highlighting entrepreneurial lifestyle of waking up at 5am and completing all the tasks before the rest of the world wakes up. While for some it might be true, for others it’s an unrealistic standard. Most spend countless hours late into the night working which has great implications on their health and longterm productivity. It is especially true in the starting stages of the business.
For years I went on not getting enough sleep which resulted in constant irritation and fatigue. Getting work done was more important, what I did not realize is that I was crippling my longterm productivity. According to Dr. Kimberly Code of Brock University, as a general rule you should strive to keep a regular sleep/wake schedule, getting up at the same time each morning, 7 days per week. This becomes especially important when experiencing difficulty sleeping. A strict sleep schedule is integral. While I do not follow a daily routine; sleep routine is an exception.
Canadian Health Measures Survey showed that men slept significantly fewer hours per night than did women ( 8.1 versus 8.3). However, women were more likely to report trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. This is where my problem lies. The moment my head touches the pillow I begin to go over to-do lists and recount all the things I forgot to finish that day. Falling asleep could take hours.
Over the past year or two, I’ve developed a nighttime routine that is a saving grace. I turned my area of anxiety into an enjoyable experience that I look forward to. I’ve stopped feeling selfish for the two hours it takes. Pampering myself makes me feel joyful. We need to be kind to ourselves and this is my way of doing it. Here’s what it looks like:
Lights and Technology Off
The most important aspect is putting away my phone on charge and setting the alarm for the morning. This is when my interaction with technology stops. No TV, no iPad, no laptop, no cellphone - everything is off.
I also turn off all the lights in my room, except a bedside lamp. I’m afraid of the dark and had a fireplace installed in my bedroom which I set on a timer. It acts a nightlight and also creates a soothing environment.
Prior to bed, every evening I enjoy a bath time. It’s a highlight of my day. For about half an hour, I will enjoy a soak and read a book. It relaxed both my body and mind. If I had a long day and short on time, instead of reading I will play classical music in the background. I also really enjoying my pampering time where I apply my nightly lotions and potions.
It’s a challenge not to check my phone once I’m in bed. While I don’t always succeed but I try. If my mind is racing or I don’t feel tired, I will continue reading.
During stressful periods at work or frequent travel, I try to stay within the routine as much as possible. It doesn’t always work out. Whenever I feel restless or suffer from jet leg, I do turn to sleeping aid. There are nights that sleep simply doesn’t come and that is when I take Vicks® ZzzQuil™ LiquiCaps®.
I’ll admit that I was nervous at the idea of turning to occasional sleep aid. Prior to my trip to Iceland this March, I spoke to my doctor about it. Upon my return I had a very stressful month of work and had to make sure to have the necessary rest. First two nights of my trip and two nights after returning I took ZzzQuil™. My biggest concern was forming a dependancy and feeling groggy in the morning. The times that I have taken it, I fell asleep soundly without tossing for hours and woke up feeling refreshed. What I liked about this formula is that it does not contain pain reliever in addition to sleep-aid ingredient that so many other nighttime products do.
Two weeks ago I was away at Disney and had a delayed flight. We landed a little after 2 AM. The following morning I was filming an eTalk segment. I took the two little gel tabs and was fast asleep. Sometimes life keeps you up and for those rare occasions I do believe in a little help.
Since we cannot “catch up” on lost sleep, nothing replaces the importance of a nighttime routine and a good night sleep. Lost sleep has immediate consequences the next day. Getting the sleep you need is key for longterm optimal cognitive performance, productivity, safety and health. Make a bedtime routine a part of your life!
*In partnership with P&G. The views and opinions expressed are my own.