When you work at home you have a wonderful feeling of power . . . You can eat lunch when you want to. Take an hour. Go for a walk. Hey, you can take a whole day off and go for a hike. No one’s looking over your shoulder.
And when it comes to sleep . . .
If you want to sleep in, be my guest. Want to stay up all night? You don’t have your boss expecting you bright-eyed the next morning.
This is really more fantasy than reality when you run a business from home.
When you run a business from home, this freedom twists around and bites you – hard. You don’t have to leave the office at a certain time. And you don’t have to be there at any specific hours.
As a result, the office never leaves you!
Just like you can’t build a business without some self-discipline, you can easily fall into the trap of letting your business take over your life.
And sleep is often the one of the first things to go.
Getting Sleep Won’t Happen Without This
I know this well. I’ve struggled through many days following rough nights with not enough sleep.
Up at night thinking about cashflow . . .
My mind racing through ideas I wanted to implement to build my business bigger when I should be sleeping . . .
Hit by the dreaded Oh-My-Gosh-I-Forgot-To-Do-That feeling that leaves you scrambling at 3 in the morning!
Or the sleep-stealer that’s getting even our children –social media, supreme sleep saboteur . . .
In the last post I gave you a couple unusual and simple ways to get to sleep if you’re not getting enough.
But looking at my sleep strategy process, I realize I should have gone back a step.
Because none of these techniques will work if you don’t believe in the importance of sleep. If you don’t truly believe sleep is not just an indulgence, but a necessity.
That may sound like a strange thing to say when you’re feeling desperately sleepy.
But like most things in your life that you need to change, you can’t change them unless you commit to making the change.
Make A Commitment To Sleep
You’ve got to decide it’s important enough to shift things and adjust. In fact, recognizing it’s a priority may force you to look at things from a whole new perspective.
When I decided I needed more sleep, I had to face off with all kinds of constraints. My family’s habits and routines. . . how much workload I put on myself each day . . . and those great old westerns that come on at 10 p.m.
I had to decide what I could change and what I had to accept and work with.
But ultimately I had to decide that sleep was important and I was going to make it a priority and figure out how to fit it in.
The steps and strategies I took to get more sleep in my life are many. And I go through them in A Sleep Strategy For Tired Home Business Owners.
But the first step was making a commitment.
And to do so, I spent a lot of time understanding and recognizing the difference sleep played in my life.
So to help you get this crucial commitment step going, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about the power of sleep.
8 Reasons You Need More Sleep
- First of all, the obvious. Sleep is what your body depends on to re-energize.
- Sleep allows your mind to work at it’s best. It affects your decision-making skills. Sleep deprivation can render your mind the equivalent of a drunken sailor’s. Really.
- Sleep affects how wise your decisions are. When people sleep less, they tend to go with riskier choices, unable to weigh the pros and cons adequately.
- Not enough sleep impacts your memory. Need to learn a new skill or remember some data to bring up in a critical client discussion? Without enough sleep, this is harder than ever.
- Sleep also isn’t about giving you the pep to work out. It literally affects whether you gain weight or lose it. No matter how much you work out. People who get 7-8 hours of sleep lose 50% more weight than people on the same regimen who only get about 5 hours.
When you sleep enough, your pituitary gland produces more human growth hormone (HGH), a critical hormone linked to developing muscle and bone mass and reducing body fat.
- Sleep helps ward off depression. People with insomnia tend to have symptoms similar to depression. When you don’t get enough sleep it’s hard to feel good about the world. (And believe me, it shows!)
- Sleep affects your immune system. Your immune system is most active when you sleep. When you don’t get enough, you’re knocking your defenses down.
Finally, here’s a big one I gleaned from an interview with chronic fatigue expert, Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum:
- When you’re really tired, it’s hard to sleep. Funny enough, energy is what helps your muscles and nerves relax. (Notice how rigor mortis is associated with death and no energy!)
When you don’t get enough sleep, it gets harder and harder to relax!
How Can You Afford Not To Get Enough Sleep?
Now look back at this list a minute. All of these things affect how well you can run your business.
All of these things affect how rich your life is beyond your bank account. In other words, how much you can enjoy the rewards of success, how healthy your relationships are and how much energy you have for activities outside of work.
And here’s the key aspect I’ve learned through lots of trial and error . . .
- When you sleep enough you get more things done faster so you don’t have stay up as late or get up early.
- You feel more relaxed and satisfied so those worries don’t tug at your mind as much
- And as Dr. Teitelbaum explained to me, your nerves and muscles can relax enough to allow you to sleep.
Getting more sleep helps you get more sleep.
So go back to the first thing we talked about here – how you have a lot more control over your life as a home business owner.
Remind yourself that you have much more control over your hours and schedule. Don’t fool yourself that you can’t get more sleep if you need it.
If you need it . . . and if you want it enough . . . you’ll make it possible.
Stop a moment.
Think about how important sleep is. Go over the list I just gave you. Visualize what it will mean to you and your family and your business if you get enough sleep.
And then decide that you will make the changes you need to make to get enough sleep.
Sarah Clachar has built a thriving health copywriting business from scratch while being a mom . . . nurturing a strong marriage . . . and running a small homestead farm. Along with a BA in biology, she’s got two decades of experience teaching and researching about natural health. Her articles have been published in Life Extension Magazine, Health, Mothering, A Taste For Life, Nutrition Business Journal, and Natural Foods Merchandiser.
Over the years, she became keenly aware how important strategically working to maintain her health was for her business. And even more importantly, how good health factored into enjoying the rewards of having a successful business.
At Your Healthy Home Biz, Sarah has combined her expertise in health and her experience running a freelance health copywriting business into a special resource for home biz owners, freelancers and solopreneurs. Your Healthy Home Biz provides inspiration and a system for transforming your workday so you can run your home business without running yourself into the ground.
Want More Details On How To Energize And Transform Your Work Day? Sarah’s created a FREE report just for you: The Simplest Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Business, Your Waistline And Your Life. Go get your copy!