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Sleep and its elusiveness

Updated: Mar 10, 2020


Our body needs it, it's important for our overall brain function, so what can we do to make sure we get enough sleep?


I’ve always been a good sleeper. From when I was a baby, my Mom often spoke to me of how I was sleeping nights from the first day I came home from the hospital and as I got older, I would ask my parents to go to bed. I’d fall asleep in the car, at parties, sitting at the dinner table…sleep never eluded me.

Except for now. Here I am, a wife, Mom and entrepreneur, and while this is the perfect recipe for exhaustion at night, I have a hard time staying asleep. I’m often up at around 3:00 am or 4:00 am staring at the ceiling and becoming increasingly frustrated with this new circadian rhythm my body has embraced.

It seems that sleep, and its importance, is all everyone can talk about these days. From Ariana Huffington to Jeff Bezos to Bill Gates[1], all claim that their success is because they make sleep a priority. I also recently read that disturbed sleep is particularly bad for your brain, so much so, that your IQ can diminish by as much as 5% as a result.[2] So, what can I, and others like me, do to get the right amount of sleep at night?

Sleep enhancers[3]:

  • Reading – this can help induce sleep. I’ve read however, that staying off your devices to read is key. Get an old-fashioned book and flip the pages to help make your eyelids heavy.

  • Bathing – a warm shower or bath is another great way to induce sleep.

  • Removing clocks – watching the time whither away as you continue to stay awake is a real stressor.

  • Eating early – avoid eating too late at night. The digestive process can keep you up.

  • Exercising – just in the day, not at night as that can have the opposite effect.

  • Drinking – water, nothing sugary and no coffee in the late afternoon. You should also avoid drinking more than 1 glass of alcohol a few hours before bedtime.

And if all this fails, resist the urge to sleep-in the next morning. Keep your schedule and try again the following night. We are creatures of habit, eventually, we should be able to establish a healthy sleep routine.

I am always looking at ways to keep my mind and body healthy, and sleep is an important factor in that mix. A rested mind is a creative mind, and in our business, like many others, we must make sure we are at our sharpest. For all these reasons, I’m making getting a full night’s rest a priority.

[1] Umoh, Ruth (2018, March 11). Arianna Huffington says she became successful after she quit one common bad habit. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/11/arianna-huffington-became-successful-after-she-started-sleeping-well.html

[2] Buchanan, Leigh (2018, February 21). The 4 Brain Superpowers You Need to Be a Successful Leader, According to Neuroscience. https://www.inc.com/leigh-buchanan/4-brain-superpowers-you-need-to-be-a-successful-leader.html?cid=sf01001&sr_share=twitter

[3] Morgenthaler, Timothy M.D. (2017, September 21). Insomnia: How do I stay asleep? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/insomnia/faq-20057824

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