We all know that if you sleep poorly, you feel groggy, your brain feels foggy, and your day is more difficult. A lack of sleep can cause low moods, and agitation too.
The Sleep Foundation reported that 38% of employees experience fatigue while they are at work. Workers are more likely to make a mistake, and professionals also feel impaired without enough sleep. (source)
When working for yourself in a freelance capacity or running a small business, it is even more vital that you have a grasp on your sleep. Time is money, after all.
So how can you get a better night’s sleep and get the most productive morning ever?
It might (not) be shocking to hear, but you first need to sleep to wake up feeling refreshed.
Easier said than done, though.
Here are some of the tried and true ways to start getting a better night sleep:
- Stop drinking caffeine before 5 pm
- Limit your screen time, or switch to night mode and reduce the blue light
- Improve your bed or mattress with Divan Beds Centre
- Read a few pages of a book
- Listen to The Calm app sleep stories or ambient music
- Don’t try to sleep (more on this in a moment)
- Go to bed when you are tired, not when you start to fall asleep on the couch.
- Try sleepy time tea
- Write any thoughts down and set them to the side
Many people track their sleep with a smartwatch or mobile phone applications. Do this to give you an indicator of how you are sleeping and when you sleep best.
Going to bed earlier will leave you rested and ready for the day ahead. It is one of the most simple things that you can do to hack your productivity.
Dr Steve Orma highly recommends that you don’t try to sleep. By doing so, our brain monitors if we are asleep or awake – keeping up awake by doing so.
One of the mistakes people make when trying to have a better routine is making a significant shift too quickly.
If you usually go to bed at 12-2 am, then suddenly trying to sleep at 9 pm and wake at 5 am won’t work.
You need to create a routine that factors in several incremental time changes.
For the first week, head to bed 15-20 minutes earlier, and set your alarm the same amount earlier than usual.
Change the time by 15 minutes each week until you get to the time of the morning you want to wake up.
When you create a routine and stick to it, your body will naturally begin to wind down and relax at the same time and wake up at the same time too.
- First week: midnight
- The second week 11.45
- The third week 11.30
And so on until you get to your ideal sleep and wake times.
3. Move More
Are you spending a little too long at your computer? Is the new series on Netflix too tempting? Not moving enough means we don’t use our energy well.
While you aren’t required to run marathons (although that would help), you do need to expel about 30 minutes of energy a day.
A fast paces walk, a bike ride or yoga are ideal. They will stretch your muscles out, release tension and burn some energy.
It can be beneficial to use yoga to stretch and unwind just before bed. YouTube has some fantastic tutorials that you can follow to help you get those good stretches in.
If you want to burn more energy, 30 minutes of HIIT will have you sweating, and you will be looking forward to getting to bed earlier.
Don’t leave your to-do list until the day you need to do it. Certainly not if you aren’t mastering the control of your time well.
Plan your day from the time you need to get up, and you will give yourself more motivation to get up and get started.
Have something essential that requires your attention first thing in the morning. The urgency can help you hop out of bed to get it done.
Your chronotype can help you to understand your best sleep and productivity schedule.
There are four different chronotypes.
- Bear – Bears focus best between 10 am and 2 pm; they sleep better from 11 pm and wake up well at 7 am.
- Wolf- Wolf focuses well between 5 pm and midnight; they sleep best from midnight and wake up at 7-7.30 with no issues.
- Lion – Lion’s focus between 8 am and midday; they go to bed at 10 pm and wake up at 6 am
- Dolphin – Dolphins focus between 3 pm and 9 pm; they sleep at 11.30 pm and wake up at 6.30.
Different working schedules work with each chronotype. It is certainly worth some research to find what works for you.
6. Billionaire Morning
If you want to significantly improve your productivity and take no prisoners, then the billionaire morning is the one for you.
- Aim for a final wake up time between 4 am, and 5.30 am
- Drink a glass of water to kick start your body
- Move your body for 2 minutes at speed
- Write a list of three vital things to do today, three things you want to feel, and one thing you want to learn.
- Have personal projects that need your attention
- Read a few pages of a book
Start to consider the time that you are not productive as time and money being wasted.
Looking at your time differently can help you put more priority on getting up earlier in the morning.