For the busy solopreneur, sleep is a bit of an enigma, isn’t it?
After all, everyone wants to get a good night’s sleep. That being said, it can be difficult to adjust to a regular sleep schedule when you’re working solo. For starters, consider the following:
- Solopreneurs are driven individuals: for those of us looking to get down to business around the clock, having some sort of “bedtime” seems arbitrary
- If you work with international clients, it may be necessary to flip your schedule from time to time to best meet the needs of your colleagues
- Long hours are often the name of the game for freelancers: the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle often sees us pulling all-nighters in pursuit of our next client
That being said, you simply can’t afford to ignore the benefits of proper sleep. From increased mental clarity to maintaining your health, you’re going to run yourself ragged and ultimately burn out if you’re not getting the rest you need. After all, wouldn’t it make more sense to be happy, productive and rested versus constantly under pressure?
Thankfully, there are multiple ways you can hack your current sleep schedule and routine for maximum productivity depending on your situation. Regardless of your industry or the scope of your work, any of the following tips are fair game when it comes to taking your productivity to the next level.
Finding the Perfect Conditions
In many cases, it’s not how much sleep you get in terms of time, but rather the quality of your rest. To make the most of bedtime, you need to foster the perfect conditions for optimum sleep quality. Consider the changes you can make in the bedroom to ensure that can truly recharge at night rather than toss and turn:
- Make your room pitch black: eliminating light is key, so consider solutions such as black-out shades or panel blinds for particularly large windows
- Don’t be afraid to adjust the thermostat in pursuit of better sleep: perhaps also consider a bedside fan to both cool you down and act as white noise
- If you’re still sleeping on secondhand sheets and your college mattress, it might be time for an upgrade
The better your sleep quality, the more likely you are to be on top of your game.
The Eight Hour Myth
Despite popular belief, you don’t need eight hours of sleep. The fact remains that some people get by on six or seven hours, while others require nine or so to avoid feeling sluggish. Experiment with exactly how much shut-eye you need versus simply tying yourself to a hard and fast rule. Again, it’s more important that your have high-quality, restful sleep versus meeting an arbitrary hour amount.
Learn How to Power Nap
Speaking of experiments, it may be time to see whether or not you can benefit from a brief power nap. The purpose of a power nap, in short, is to revitalize you without going into a deep sleep. While conventional wisdom tells us that naps can keep us up at night, some night owls swear by them. From half-an-hour to mere minutes, see what impact power naps have on you and think of them as a potential way to recharge your batteries if you feel drained mid-day.
Be Careful with Caffeine
Most solopreneurs are coffee addicts, plain and simple. That being said, caffeine during the day can have a detrimental impact on sleep quality hours after consumption. If you work a traditional schedule, opt to cease caffeine consumption around the early afternoon. If you tend to pound coffee in the evening, perhaps consider some decaf options to fool your brain into thinking you’re getting the “real deal.”
Optimizing your sleep schedule and quality essentially comes down to comfort and understanding of what works for your body. Whether you’re an early bird or night owl, the aforementioned tips can help sure that you can get down to business instead of stressing over sleep.