Today, I’m not going to say ANYTHING about Pay Per Lead or marketing, though I know you guys love that (me too).
Instead, I’m going to talk about something equally important.
(No scoffing at the back, s’il vous plait).
Today, I’m going to talk about your HEALTH.
See, we entrepreneurs are so busy trying to conquer the digital world, our health tends to fall by the wayside.
And, yep, you guessed it: the crappier we feel, the crappier our output in the workplace.
So, here are 6 tips on how I manage to stay in tippy-top human condition, ready to take on the peaks and troughs of an average working day.
#1 Try An Oura Ring
“It came to me. My own. My love. My own. My precious.”
~ Gollum/Sméagol, The Lord of the Rings
Now, listen up, fellow hobbits. Though the One Ring destroyed Gollum, my Oura Ring has made me fitter, stronger, wiser and, generally, an all-round better person.
In fact, I would say it’s the best investment I’ve made so far in 2020.
For those of you who haven’t heard of the Oura Ring: it’s a sleep tracker that monitors how well you rest each night. Fitted with microscopic sensors, it measures essential items like body temperature, activity, and how much REM sleep you get per night.
Linked up to an app on your phone, Oura gives you a morning “sleep score” out of 100.
Your overall score takes into account the following contributors:
- Total sleep (hours and minutes)
- REM sleep
- Deep sleep
Essentially, the better your sleep quality, the higher your score will be. For example, if you get 94/100, you’ll be at peak performance levels the next day.
Scientists say it, your mum says it, influencers on Instagram say it: nothing can beat a good night’s sleep.
Since I got my “precious”, I’ve been obsessed with getting a score over 80. To be honest, I’ve only ever got over an 80 once, so I’m determined to make my sleep better.
As Mr Benjamin Franklin said in 1735: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”.
#2 Crack Open A Book Before Going To Sleep
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers”
~ Harry S. Truman
Okay, I’ll admit it: I haven’t always been a massive reader.
But I’ve found two great reasons to settle under the duvet with a book:
- If all else fails, you can bore yourself to sleep.
- Or, if you choose something worthwhile, you could actually learn something.
There are also studies claiming that reading before bed reduces stress levels.
Cognitive Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis found that “reading before bed reduces stress levels by 68%”. This is in comparison to listening to music (61%), drinking herbal tea (54%) and taking a walk (42%).
Evidence also suggests that reading a good yarn before bedtime can boost your brainpower. Reading is more neurologically challenging than watching Netflix (even documentaries), so it flexes the body’s strongest muscle of all – the brain.
Reading also improves creativity, makes you a more empathetic person, and increases your general knowledge. As far as I can gather, those are all good things.
I love stories of famous people finding success. Just learning about the struggles, hurdles and accomplishments of my idols makes me believe that I can do the same.
I’ve just finished “Made in America” by Sam Walton and “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight.
“Shoe Dog” is the story of Nike, and how this guy built his empire of footwear from nothing. He started as a hippy student, travelling the world, until he found his real passion.
If I read for 15 to 20 minutes before bed, I always inch closer to that coveted 1-2 hours of deep sleep.
#3 Stop Drinking Before Bed
Some people swear by a tequila shot before hitting the hay, but those people are wrong.
According to WebMD, the encyclopedia for hypochondriacs everywhere, alcohol actually does make healthy people fall asleep faster and more deeply.
However, even a couple of glasses of wine can drastically reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
Disruptions in REM can cause drowsiness and poor concentration come the morning, and can even cause breathing issues over time.
And watch when you eat, too. Guzzling biscuits before bed will cause your blood sugar to spike – not ideal for a restful night’s sleep.
When you eat before eight hours of rest, the body is more likely to store those calories, rather than expend them as energy.
In other words, science says that eating at night makes you fat.
There’s the old saying: “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. Though it sounds a bit like the “Live, Laugh, Love” quote people embroider on cushions, it actually makes a lot of sense.
#4 Dim That Phone Screen Of Yours
I know that asking some of you to put your phone down before you sleep is like asking the antichrist to behave himself.
Unfortunately, exposure to blue light before bedtime can:
- Reduce sleep-inducing melatonin
- Increase alertness
- Reset the body’s circadian rhythm (internal body clock) to a later schedule
- Prevent REM sleep – even if you get your 8 hours a night
I’ve combatted this by using the blue light filter on my iPhone. It kicks in when the sun goes down, and it stays that way until sunrise the next day.
#5 Get Yourself Some Earplugs
If you want to give your entrepreneur friend an excellent birthday present, I highly recommend earplugs.
My wife has a “clicky snore” or a “snorey click” that drives me ABSOLUTELY INSANE. She’s done it for about 15 years, and I don’t think she’s gonna stop any time soon.
So, I’m a firm believer in some of Mack’s silicone earplugs, which cost around £5 for 6 pairs.
The suffering had to end. Now I sleep like a baby, and my wife can snore to her heart’s content.
#6 Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Yep, it’s cliche, but exercise makes you feel better in the long run (pun definitely intended).
No one on this planet starts exercising after years of inactivity and thanks the Good Lord for giving us treadmills. BUT, as well as weight control and managing health conditions, exercise gives your mood a much-needed lift.
As you get stronger and fitter, you’ll have more energy too. 30 minutes of exercises, 5 days a week, means your cardiovascular system will be ON POINT.
Find an activity you particularly enjoy (weights, running, karaoke spin class), and stick with it. If the dopamine and serotonin levels start to fade after a couple of weeks, up your seshes to 40 minutes.
One big incentive is permission to feel smug. Up to 37% of people in the UK don’t exercise at all, while only 7% are regularly active.
If you’re feeling a bit rubbish, I recommend you give all of these a go.
In fact, I recommend all of these even if you’re feeling fantastic.
The biggest change for me was actually getting some sleep. I thought that I’d feel less stressed if I did all I needed to do before cashing my chips.
Turns out that the list of “things I need to do” are never-ending. I should get my 8 hours a night and tackle my stuff refreshed.
How are you looking after your general wellbeing and health? Got any top tips to add to the list? Write them in the comments box below!