Person stretching in bed with the sun peeking through the curtains.
Prioritizing a good night's sleep is essential for entrepreneurs looking to stay healthy and perform at a high level. — Getty Images/oatawa

Many entrepreneurs consider a lack of sleep to be part of the deal when running a business — and maybe even a sign of success. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I’ve worked in a family business, launched my own business, managed crews small and large, and spent time in a corporate C-suite, and the one resource that was always scarce for me was sleep,” said Robert Roy Britt, author of “Make Sleep Your Superpower” (2022). “Hindsight and science have taught me that efficient and effective sleep is vital to effective leadership, in small business or otherwise.”

A sufficient amount of quality sleep is essential for staying healthy and performing at a high level. Here’s why every entrepreneur should prioritize a good night’s rest.

Benefits of getting good sleep as an entrepreneur

A good night’s sleep — roughly seven to eight hours, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine — can yield tremendous benefits for an entrepreneur, as sleeping has a major impact on mental health and overall well-being. A restful night can improve everything from one’s mood to memory performance to creativity, according to HULT International Business School.

“Sufficient and restorative sleep, what I call 'efficient and effective sleep,' is vital for a leader aiming to make good decisions, be on top of their game, and be sharper than the competition,” Britt said.

Recent studies from Harvard Business Review have shown that entrepreneurs who lack sleep analyze business opportunities differently than those who are well-rested.

“Think of higher-quality sleep as an investment in your success, like purchasing more efficient systems or hiring smarter people,” Britt said. “If you follow my plan, you’ll save the most precious of commodities: time. Efficient and effective sleep means you’ll spend less time staring at the ceiling, less time in fitful, fragmented sleep, and more time getting high-quality, restorative, deep sleep.”

[Read: Sleep Wellness Entrepreneur: ‘Understand Your Customers and Solve Their Problem Really Well’]

Multiple nights of poor sleep take a serious toll on cognitive skills and physical health. Over time, poor sleep adds up, like hidden little expenses you don’t notice in the ledger until suddenly one week you can’t make payroll.

Robert Roy Britt, author, “Make Sleep Your Superpower”

Dangers of insufficient sleep as an entrepreneur

While it can be tough for a hard-working entrepreneur to prioritize sleep, it’s an integral factor in how well one can perform their daily responsibilities. Adequate sleep is not a luxury — without it, entrepreneurs deprive themselves of basic health needs, which can lead to a weakened immune system and cardiovascular diseases.

“One night of insufficient sleep can leave your brain as fuzzy as if you’re drunk, which leads to poor decision-making, unnecessary irritability, and overall ineffectiveness,” Britt said. “Multiple nights of poor sleep take a serious toll on cognitive skills and physical health. Over time, poor sleep adds up, like hidden little expenses you don’t notice in the ledger until suddenly one week you can’t make payroll.”

How to improve your quality of sleep

Healthy sleeping habits begin with a consistent sleeping pattern. Strive to wake up around the same time every morning and go to bed at a similar time each night — even on weekends, when possible. Entrepreneurs will find that developing a healthier sleeping schedule will make waking up in the morning easier, and they’ll feel more well-rested and productive throughout the day.

“A successful business owner knows how to set a goal, develop a strategy to achieve it, and measure the outcome,” Britt said. “That’s exactly how to approach sleep. Once you understand what good sleep looks like, and how much you need, you can use science-based tactics to set a personalized strategy to improve it, then measure the results.”

Proper sleep hygiene requires a dark and quiet environment that is comfortable in temperature. No distractions — including televisions, cell phones, computers, or other screened devices — should be present, as they can hinder your body’s ability to fall, and stay, asleep.

Promote a solid night’s sleep during the day by being physically active, and ensure you don’t consume caffeinated beverages, alcohol, or big meals too soon before bedtime.

Finally, Britt suggested tapping into entrepreneurial traits like curiosity, researching, planning, and conquering challenges, and applying the same intention to your sleep cycle.

“The sleep cycle is, perhaps like your work life, a 24-hour fact of life,” he told CO—. “Just as you don’t show up to meetings without some preparation, you can’t spend 16 hours every day ignoring the factors that go into successful sleep and expect the seven or eight overnight hours to go well.”

[Read: 7 Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Brought to you by
Dedicated to turning our advantage into yours.
Unmatched 5G network : Get work done where your business happens with the speed, bandwidth, and reliability your business needs.
Learn More