For many entrepreneurs, healthy long sleep is more of a luxury, than a habit. The current crisis mode, remote work and lack of movement, constant stress and uncertainty, dramatic shifts in the “work routine”, have not made things easier. I decided to turn for advice to one of my favorite social entrepreneurs Kat Dey, who is on the mission to help us sleep better and has dedicated much time to studying sleep while launching a sustainable bedsheets company.
Sleep routine does matter.
Going to bed at the same time every day is most important. The exact time depends on the person based on their biological clock and when they feel most productive. The first thing I do when I wake up is not reach for my phone. My phone charges in a different room. Instead I envision my upcoming day for 5-10 minutes. This small exercise helps me prioritize what is most important to accomplish in the day. After that I do cat cow stretches (at a minimum). If I have more time I try to do some sun salutations.
Avoid blue light at least 60 mins before bed.
This is tough in our always-connected world, however blue light is proven to disrupt sleep. Before you leave your phone in a spot where it will charge at night (not your bedroom!), check to make sure you are prepared for the next day. This prep will help avoid any anxiety at night. Then you can spend time talking to your loved ones at home, preparing your clothes for the next day, taking a shower, drinking a warm non-caffeinated beverage (eg herbal tea), doing a few light stretches and/or meditating.
Make sure you have comfortable temperature for sleep.
It is scientifically proven that humans sleep better in cooler environments so turn your thermostat down or open the window for fresh air. Your bedding also plays a key role in the quality of your sleep. Make sure you use the most breathable fabrics. For example, Ettitude’s CleanBamboo sheets are exceptionally breathable, thermoregulating and moisture wicking. Linen is also a good option for breathability as compared to cotton, polyester, silk, or blends.
Put your mind in a peaceful state.
I recommend listing 3 things you are grateful for before you close your eyes. Gratitude lets us wash away any negative feelings we might have that might keep us awake. For folks who wake up in the middle of the night with ruminating thoughts or ideas, I recommend keeping a journal next to your bed (vs your phone) so you can write your thoughts to get them out of your head and get back to sleep promptly.
My best recommendation is to get a manual alarm clock so you don’t need to have your phone by your bed.
If you reach for it first thing in the morning, you give away control of your day to other people (email, news, social media) to which you will immediately start to react as opposed to focusing on what is important for you. Email, news and social media can wait until you properly start your day!