What Value Do You Put On Sleep?
Healthy, high-achieving leaders must redefine their relationship with sleep to ensure the longevity of their own health and the health of their companies.
I love sleep! I love naps! I love going to bed early and waking early! But, this hasn’t always been the case. Keep in mind I am a high-achiever in recovery. I used to only sleep 4-5 hours a night. Not only that, I would brag about it–So silly! Who brags about destroying their bodies and brains?! I did! I did it because somewhere along the way I was taught that’s what “successful people” do. I was taught as a leader and entrepreneur that in order to be successful I had to put a low value on my health and sleep and a high value on things that made money and achieved results. Sound familiar? I also really didn’t know the short and long term impact on my body and brain. I was living on socio-cultural conditioning, the invincibility of my youth, ambition, and lots and lots of adrenaline, cortisol and caffeine..Well… that ultimately caught up to me and resulted in massive physical, mental and emotional burnout that lasted 3+years!
I was taught that in order to be successful I had to put a low value on sleep and a high value on results
How to address your burnout?
change your relationship with sleep
We have to reframe and change your relationship with sleep. Feel better. Perform better. Address burnout. Save your brain. Save your heart. Keep healthy looking, firm skin. And, yes, lose weight too. Your body needs sleep to recover and keep all of your systems functioning. Your teams, businesses and families depend on your healthy functioning! When sleep is a high priority, you show up stronger and more capable.
Create a sleep plan
Here are some Sleep Prep & Planning Tips (Your Sleep Preparation Begins At Dinner Time)
First, reset your beliefs and scripts about sleep. If you keep saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m old or dead” or “I can’t make money when I sleep” then you will not fix your sleep issues. Reset your sleep-script: Example: “Sleep is essential to my performance and my short and long term health”
Sleep takes preparation. Yep, just like anything good in life, you have to have a plan to be successful.
Create and write down your sleep preparation (aka: sleep hygiene) plan. Personally, the phrase sleep hygiene doesn’t work for me. I prefer, sleep preparation and planning.
Stop “stimulant” intake before dinner (caffeine, chocolate, drinks with high sugar content, meds and supplements that are stimulating).
Limit alcohol at night and before bed–especially on school nights, er..work nights.
Turn off devices (phone, tv, ipads, computers) at least one-hour before getting into bed. No more falling asleep to the tv or scrolling phones in bed.
Put your phone on DND 2 hours before bed and set to turn off DND 2 hours after waking. Ex: 8pm – 8am (Eeek 12 hours! Yep!).
Drink 8-10oz of water with lemon before dinner and drink water or non-caffeinated beverages with dinner–hydration is important. (Will you have to get up to pee in the night? Maybe, but that is why drinking at dinner helps you take care of this a few times before sleep.)
Create a pre-bedtime relaxation routine…
Do a brain-dump–write down everything on your mind from the day or what you are anticipating the next day.
Take a warm shower or bath. Add Epsom Salt to your bath to relax your muscles.
Listen to relaxing music. Read something you enjoy or something that makes you feel good (nothing too stimulating).
Do some light stretching/yoga-nothing crazy.
Practice Deep belly breathing for 2 minutes.
Use lavender oil on your hands or wrists for some olfactory relaxation.
Have a physical release–back to stretching to relax your muscles. Laying with legs up the wall can be very relaxing. Sex too-if you can, why not?! Anything to get your body in a relaxed state and with some good chemicals flowing–why the heck not! The goal is relaxation. The goal is to prepare your body and brain for sleep.
Ambient bedroom lighting. Prep your room, turn down the lights-no overhead lights, close the blinds to minimize outside lightning. Use soft lamp light and/or candles.
Be cool. Your bedroom and bedding needs to be cool. We sleep better when we are cool vs warm/hot. And we sleep better with little to no clothing–full PJ sets be gone!
When prepping your room, make it smell nice too. Add a few sprays of lavender, vanilla, or any fragrance that you like that’s relaxing to you to your bedding. You can also light a candle you like. Use incense. Anything fragrance that signals to you, it’s time to relax. If I can make my room smell like a spa, I know I will immediately settle in.
Brain still racing? Get up for 15-20 minutes max. Keep lights in the house dim. Drink a glass of water or some chamomile tea. Do another brain-dump, write it down–on paper–not your phone, remember your phone is sleeping and doesn’t want you to disturb it for 12 hours.
Write your sleep plan down and track your progress. Like any goal you have to measure progress and track what works and what doesn’t.
Sleep is essential to Leader healtH
Being a healthy, high performing leader requires us to be above average with our healthy habits
Redefine your relationship with sleep and feel the difference it makes in your mood, health, motivation, energy, and results.
Leader Health = Business Health