Us&Co Blog

How to function on little to no sleep

Sleepless nights tend to frequent many an entrepreneur. From burning the midnight oil to restless nights worrying over events from the day, it can be hard ensuring you get your full recommended eight hours each night. Whilst we all know sleep is extremely important, and that you hopefully manage to squeeze in those vital hours, in this post we look at how you can still function on those days where sleep is all too lacking.


1. Have a catnap

Whilst we’re aware that your day is likely to be chock full of important tasks, if possible, try and find 20 minutes in your day to have a catnap. It may seem like 20 minutes is not enough, however anymore could leave you feeling groggier than before. Find a quiet place, perhaps your car, a quiet corner of your work space, or you could even call a taxi and have it drive you around for 20 mins in silence (it may be extreme, but sleep is important!) and allow yourself to have a nap. Whilst it won’t make up for hours missed the night before, it should give you enough energy to make it through the day.


2. Delegate

When functioning on little to no sleep it’s definitely not the right time for you to try and handle it all. Take that person who has offered their help in the past up on their offer. Find the person you trust most in your business to give you a helping hand with your day’s task. Asking for help is something you should always be doing, but when you’re running on very little steam, it’s vital to your business that you do so to make sure tasks get completed in time.


3. Make the most of your commute

If you usually drive to your work space, consider taking another form of transport on days you’re feeling particularly drowsy. Not only is it not safe to drive when you’re tired, when using public transport you can find time to fit in a little snooze (see point one), or just take a moment to let your mind relax. The extra stress of trying to navigate rush hour traffic could leave you feeling even more exhausted then when you began the day.


4. Have breaks

Breaks should already be part of your everyday routine, but especially so when you’ve had little sleep the night before. For every hour, set aside ten minutes that will allow you to switch off, refocus and regroup.  Not only will this help give your brain a breather, it will give you a fresh perspective on the job which you’re doing.


5. Get some fresh air

It’s no secret that vitamin D is an important vitamin that many of us are lacking; however on those days where your sleep has not been sufficient, it’s even more important that you up your dosage. Using one of your breaks, take some time to go outside and soak up some fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine. Whether the sun is shining or not, the fresh air will leave feeling more invigorated and awake.


6. Keep your meals light

Big, heavy, mainly carbohydrate based meals can leave you feeling sluggish, which is the last thing you want when you’re already lacking on sleep. Smaller meals filled with protein and wholegrains help to fuel your body and produce more energy, without those dreaded sugar crashes two hours later. Check out our previous post on eating yourself efficient (LINK) for interesting ways you can incorporate foods into your diet that will keep you going from morning till night.


7. Prioritise your day

We’ve spoken before on the importance of prioritising your day; however this is equally as important on days where you’ve had little sleep. Plan to tackle your biggest tasks in the morning, the time when you’ll have the most energy, and leave smaller tasks to the afternoon where your focus may be lacking. And don’t forget point two; if a task is too big, and too urgent to wait, ask for help!

The good thing about being an entrepreneur or working for yourself is that you can choose the hours in which you’re working. If you’re feeling too drained to continue, there is no shame in taking the afternoon off to recuperate, getting an early night and hitting the ground running the following day.

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