I get it, #TeamNoSleep and I'll sleep when I'm dead. Trust me - I get it. But what do you do when you REALLY need sleep?
Trust me, I know what it means to go without sleep for the majority of your week. You would think that I was the most productive during #TeamNoSleep week right?
Sleep is imperative to your overall health and it’s what helps your body dial it down when the day is done.
I get it, I get it, #TeamNoSleep and I’ll sleep when I’m dead have become the mantra for most entrepreneurs. But as a dad of four kids, it’s mental suicide to think that you’ll get a few hours and be at your best everyday.
I’ve spoken about the impact of loss of sleep on my website frequently. Just read these two articles when it comes to me dealing with my youngest child Daisy and how she’s destroyed my sleep.
So what I’ve learned is to take naps during the day when it’s necessary. That’s right. Naps. I technically will take a nap occasionally when I absolutely need it. What I found was that when I was deliriously tired, I focused more on being tired and needing rest as opposed to using that time to be a beast and plow through the activity.
Yes, I’ve tried just going straight through even though I was tired and I often made more mistakes than I should’ve. Simply because I was tired.
This happens in anything we do. When we’re tired, it’s our body’s way of saying it’s time to relax right now for a break. If you don’t listen to your body, your body will shut you down itself.
Know When to Rest and Know When to Work
You have to know when it’s a good time to call it quits and when it’s time to continue on with the show. You know your body better than anyone else but if you keep denying how your body is responding, then you will ultimately succumb to what your body demands.
We get into trouble when we try to outdo others. This is where #TeamNoSleep and I’ll sleep when I’m dead come into play. The truth is that everyone needs sleep and no one can go on forever like a machine.
Understand how you respond when you get X amount of hours of sleep. How productive are you when you get a certain number of hours asleep. Test out getting a certain number of hours of sleep over a set number of weeks and see how you feel and how much work you’re able to get done. It’s about being your most productive not about who can get the least amount of sleep.
Use Sleep Tools
I use a few apps to get me in the zone to help me get to sleep quicker and faster. I also use apps to help me understand my sleep.
I use the app Pillow: Smart Sleep Tracking to monitor my sleep activity at night. It helps to monitor your heart rate (if you have an Apple Watch or like device to monitor heart rate). It also helps to monitor your movement in bed and has an audio feature that can detect the noise around you (and also helps to detect possible sleep apnea, etc).
This app has helped me to understand how much time it takes for me to fall asleep and the quality of sleep that I’m getting every night.
I also use an app called Insight Timer. I use this app for when I’m taking naps. I turn the sounds on and put my AirPods in and turn on the Pillow app. I personally like the sounds that I’ve downloaded from Insight Timer but there are plenty of other apps that you can use for soothing sounds to put you to sleep. Pillow also has its own sounds but I love my Insight Timer.
Use the Bad Stuff Sparingly
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been known to chug a 5-hour ENERGY. In fact, I have a case of the stuff right now. Now before you think I use this stuff that often, I actually got a case of it because I got tired of buying a few at $3/each.
I use 5-hour ENERGY sporadically. Not enough to even register the amount of usage. I’ve probably used it in the last month but it’s something that I don't want to rely on it get into a bad habit of using when I get tired.
I’ll use it when I don’t want to sleep or when I truly want to finish something but other than that, keep this kind of solution as a thing you use once every blue moon. In other words, do not use this as a replacement of sleep.
Because #TeamNoSleep won’t help you when you’re falling asleep simply because your body is begging for rest.
GET SLEEP. It’s important.