I do some of my best thinking in the early morning. Sometimes, I wake up at 3 am, and these riffs play in my head. I worry about that difficult phone call coming up, or some stressful situation. Have you noticed that these worries are never as big as they seem in the wee hours?
Sometimes, I wake up with a great idea. I learned that the best thing to do is to grab the little notebook I keep nearby and write it down. This allows me to capture that great idea or to release that worry. And, then I can go back to sleep!
Sleep is also really important for entrepreneurs. Starting a company is hard work. I am tired at the end of the day, and I need a good night of rest to prepare me for the next day.
So many of us entrepreneurs have trouble sleeping that I wanted to spend a little time on this. Here is the Mayo Clinic’s good advice, Seven Steps To Better Sleep. And, this is a fun little Inc. magazine article, 11 Ways To Sleep Better At Night, on the things that entrepreneurs need to let go in order to sleep at night.
Years ago, I learned this little meditation for sleeping. It it a little out there (in the yogic sense) but I promise it works:
- Sit in a comfortable and warm place, on a mat or pillow, cross legged, with a straight spine.
- Put your hands in your lap, right hand resting over the left, and make sure your shoulders and face and hands are relaxed
- Breathe in through your nose deeply, in four parts, rather slowly. In your mind, as you take the four partial breaths, think SA-TA-NA-MA. Do this 4 times, so that you breathe in with 16 partial breaths.
- Then you will hold the breath for 16 counts, at the same slowish pace you inhales the four-part breath, saying SA-TA-NA-MA to yourself 4x
- As you exhale, say to yourself, WAHAY GURU.
The yogis tell you to do this for 3 or 6 or 11 or 31 minutes. To me, it doesn’t matter how long, just practice this for a bit each night as you are getting ready for bed, and you will sleep better!