Normally, I try to steer clear of life advice in this space. A 27-year-old writer with no kids and a fondness for tortured metaphors is not, in my estimation, Dear Abby.
When it coincides with small business advice, though, I feel fairly qualified to deliver it. So here goes, small business owner: You need to sleep more, and if you don’t, you’ve got a sleep problem.
I base this on a Centers for Disease Control study which originally reported that 450 billion people didn’t get enough sleep, before the researchers realized they themselves were running on four hours of sleep and were way off. The actual estimate is that 41 million American workers are running on less than six hours of sleep a night, which is less than the recommended eight hours. I myself average about seven, and I firmly believe anything less than that slowly but surely erodes your ability to function at a high level.
The problem? Some people just feel too busy with business to get that much sleep, between obtaining business loans and running the business and handling a home life. For those people, I recommended sneaking a cat nap or delegating just a little bit more work so you can grab that extra hour. For others, though, the lack of sleep is a badge of honor.
You know the type, because you may even be the type. Grabbing, at most, five hours of sleep a night, they work incessantly and have a distinctly bleary set of eyes when you arrive at the office/mirror every morning. They’re good, driven employees, but they also have a habit of just kind of shutting down at certain points. It’s unavoidable.
Numerous neurological studies have found that people without enough sleep cannot make clean decisions and have their judgments impaired. They also struggle to focus and engage with others. It’s sort of like being mildly drunk all the time, which is something I bet most of you swear up and down that you would never do in the office. Why go through life sleep-deprived and act like it’s the best thing since cranberry sauce?
So I highly recommend you find a way to get more sleep, even if it’s just an hour. After a while, the extra hours spent working and not sleeping are going to give you diminishing returns, and the lack of shuteye will effect your health down the road. Find a way to be as efficient as possible and you’ll be thanking yourself—and possibly BizEngine!—later.
How many hours of sleep do you get in a typical night?
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