Dear Entrepreneur, Get Some Sleep

Businessman working till late

Success is not usually easily attainable. When it comes to becoming an expert, Malcolm Gladwell came up with the 10,000 hour rule that says  to master any skill it takes 10,000 hours of practice. That’s almost 14 uninterrupted months of your life to become an expert.

You’re probably not at the 10,000 hour level yet, and that’s okay. But, don’t try to get there as fast as possible at the expense of your health. The Center for Disease Control’s most recent publication on sleep recommends that adults get anywhere between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. A 2010 study by Environics Research found the average small business owner to work 47.6 hours a week, though it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to work 70 or even 80 hours in a given week. 80 hours! That’s almost half of the hours in a full week. There is no way that kind of work schedule is leading to a well-balanced life. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Not getting a solid seven hours will have a detrimental effect on your life. Besides just making you tired during the day, not getting enough sleep actually lowers cognitive functioning making you dumber and more forgetful. It can also increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and lower sex drive. So, next time you’re thinking about pulling an all-nighter at the office, think of the consequences.

Here are some “sleep hygeine” tips from the CDC:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
  • Moderate physical activity may help promote sleep, but avoid vigorous exercise in the few hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
  • Avoid nicotine.

Do you notice a difference when you don’t get enough sleep?

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