A Recipe for Startup Failure: Poor Sleep Habits

Sleep Habits
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As an entrepreneur, I understand what it takes to manage myself, my schedule, and my business. While it’s a lot to think about all the time, it is worth it to me in the end. One thing I always share with other entrepreneurs or those thinking of taking the leap is making sure you get enough sleep. In the early stages of becoming my own boss, I wasn’t managing my sleep well. At all. I thought I had to be more productive and work in a more effective way during the day, but nothing was changing and I got stressed about everything.

Fortunately, I started thinking about my sleep habits and realized I wasn’t getting enough sleep – or at least enough of good sleep. Changing and maintaining a new routine resulted in me being happier and less stressed when I had to focus on my work, and it was a big part of my success of having my own business. Read on to find out why sleep is so important and how you can change your habits.

But I Get Plenty of Sleep

If you are making the transition into starting your own business or going solo, your sleep habits will change. For most of us, our sleep habits actually suffer. To successfully maintain your business and your sanity, a good night’s rest each night is a must.  A great night’s sleep will allow you to remain calm and focused throughout the challenges in your day.

When you are fully involved in your startup there will be a constant stream of projects, goals, deadlines, meetings, clients, the list goes on and on. And while you may not be working in an office for someone else, you will be working odd hours, late into the night to make your dream happen. An occasional late night is one thing, but working long days and late into the night each and every day will affect you as well as your business.

Why? A business can only run as well as the body that runs it. What I mean is, the better you are functioning physically and mentally, the better your business will function.

According to the New York Times, getting at least seven hours of sleep each night is ideal for peak performance and health. While sleeping needs will vary from person to person, ensuring that you get plenty of sleep each night is ideal for an optimal you.

Change Your Sleep Habits to Get More Sleep

Juggling your busy schedule of your business, family, and personal life can be a struggle for any entrepreneur or startup. Sleep is often the last thing we think about each day. But it doesn’t have to be this way. According to Mayo Clinic, adopting the right habits will help you achieve better sleep at night.

Watch What You Eat

Make sure you don’t go to bed when you are hungry or when you are too full. The discomfort your body would experience will keep you awake. Not to mention, avoid caffeine and nicotine if you are serious about getting quality sleep. The stimulation from the nicotine and the caffeine can keep you wide awake for hours.

Stick to a Schedule

Going to bed and getting out of bed at the same times each day will enable you to control your sleep habits. The consistency will train your body with a steady sleeping/waking cycle. The hardest part is sticking to the schedule come weekends or busier days within the business.

If you are trying to get to sleep and you cannot fall asleep within the first 20 minutes, get out of bed and go indulge in something relaxing. This could be reading or meditating, just to name a few.

Limit Your Naps

While it may seem laughable that startups have time for naps in the first place, when you first transition into working for yourself, you may find that you want to indulge. Just be sure that if you do want to take a nap during the day, that you keep it to no more than 30 minutes. Any longer than that will interrupt your nighttime sleep cycles.

Manage Your Stress

Keeping your worries and your stress in check as an entrepreneur is difficult at best. One thing I like to do is try to resolve my worries before I go to bed. I’ll simply make a quick list of what is on my mind and just put it aside to face the next day. This helps me from letting my mind wander too much while I am lying in bed trying to get to sleep. Not to mention, writing my worries down ensures that I don’t forget something important!

The Bottom Line

Owning your own startup or working for yourself can be rewarding and fulfilling. Just be sure to take the measures to get plenty of sleep because when you function, you can allow your business to function.

What are your sleep habits?
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Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones is the editor of sleepydeep.com. Feeling the repercussions of being an irregular sleeper for far too long, she decided to do something about it. She learned why sleep is so important and how to maximize it, and is now helping others who are struggling to find their right sleep routine.


  1. Sleep is so important to overall health. Great tips, and thoughtful suggestions. Diet, or what we eat is also a huge factor in restful sleep. Being a combat veteran, and poor sleeper for most of my life has taken a toll on my health. Being a parent with little ones also makes for some sleep irregularities. I will definitely incorporate your tips in with what I am already focusing on. Cheers

  2. It’s so hard with a rotating schedule…1 week is early… next week is late…no rhyme or reason.

  3. Agreed! Sleep is when your body heals and restores you. It is also when your adrenal glands recover. If you do not get an uninterrupted 5 hours of sleep, you run a high risk of adrenal fatigue which can lead to serious health problems!

  4. All great points as you outlined. There are also two other things to avoid for great night sleep. The first is social media before bed can cut into precious sleep time as well as using electronic devices a few hours before bed.

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