I usually refer to sleep as the third pillar of the healthy physical dimension (the others are nutrition, exercise and relaxation). Many people minimize the benefits of sleep and the essential properties it brings to our ability to produce and perform at our top level. Additionally, researchers have found that sleep dysregulation and stress can increase the risk for depression and anxiety.

These problems may also have direct influence over the immune system and increase the risk for heart disease. It is impossible for stressed executives and business owners not to carry their worries and concerns to their sleep. As they can’t relax and re-energize throughout the course of the night, they wake up tired and exhausted, unable to focus, further prolonging the negative cycle. In short: they are stressed out during the course of the day and stressed out during the course of the night.

These are some helpful tips to maximize your sleep:

1) Go to bed around the same time every night:
Creating a healthy habit is of essence. Our circadian cycle is primed to sleep at night. If you were “trained” to sleep at night as a child, it will be easier for you to implement this healthy habit. Sleep habits change during adolescent years and our body requires less sleep as we age. The better habits we create during good times will enable us to be resilient during tough times.

2) Sleep six to eight hours every night:
The best sleep times are during the night. Those who hold night jobs usually struggle with other cycle problems, including eating habits or managing stress. You may need to stay awake longer hours because of your job or may be conducting business across continents. Either way, ensure you get good sleep at least 5 out of 7 nights of the week. Although you can catch up over a weekend, nothing beats the good habit of sleeping well every night. In addition, it may be easier for you to recover after not sleeping one or two nights when you are young. Our ability to bounce back decreases as we age.

3) Avoid watching television or reading “activating” programs, books or magazines at night:
You probably experienced increased stress not only because of the financial crisis itself but because you may have been stuck to your television to check on your stock or business. If you tried to go to sleep right after this, my guess is you couldn’t. Avoid reading or watching any material that would keep your mind going. Instead, try “light” reading as you transition to bed.

4) Avoid caffeinated drinks during the day and alcohol at night:
You may feel you lack the energy necessary to keep your work afloat. You may compensate by pumping coffee during the day and then trying to sleep at night. If you are taking more than two caffeinated drinks during the day, or drinking coffee after 2 PM, chances are, you may be struggling with falling asleep at night. Avoid too much caffeine and the negative cycle of drinking alcohol to sleep. Although alcohol may help you fall asleep, it also has a rebound effect where you may find yourself waking up at 2 AM with increased anxiety. Some men visit the emergency room worried about having a heart attack at around that time. Instead, this may be a sign of a panic attack. If this applies to you, check on your caffeine and alcohol consumption. In addition, although many people are taking over the counter or prescribed hypnotics at night, please note this is not in your best interest in the long run. Caffeine is a stimulant, hypnotics are downers and you may be causing yourself trouble by creating a neurotransmitter roller-coaster.

5) Consider your bedroom as your sanctuary for sleep and sex: No other activities allowed: no eating on the bed, no watching television, no studying, and no conduction of any other business other than sleep and sex. Having a “good night sleep” will increase your stamina and improve your ability to concentrate and focus the next day.

Enjoy your Wellbeing!

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Author's Bio: 


DR. GABY CORA is a Wellness doctor and coach, best-selling author and keynote speaker. She works with people who want to be healthy while they become wealthy. She's the author of Leading Under Pressure: Maximize Your Health While Building Your Wealth. Dr. Cora is the Official Guide to Life Work Balance for Self Growth.

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