Creating a plan to help your brain power is important to me. I have always loved brain research and since my diagnosis of MS, I have researched even more ways to help my brain do its job better for my body. God gave each of us a ‘sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). We have the power to keep it healthy.
As an entrepreneur I know it can be extremely difficult to take care of ourselves. We have so many responsibilities and many times we are the ones who need to do ALL the work. Are you there? Are your days and weeks filled with activities to grow your business?
AND, if you are like me, you have other responsibilities outside of your work: family, household, church, etc., Right? Sometimes there are just NOT enough hours in the day. You feel the pressure of trying to get it all done.
BUT, it is so important to take care of yourself. Some ways to do that are to eat healthy, take supplements, exercise, reduce stress, and meditate. Research shows that if you take care of all your parts (especially your brain), then your body will work better for you.
Importance of Sleep
I know the message of ‘taking care of yourself’ is nothing new for you. So, let me ask you this . . . Are you getting enough sleep?
Researchers have long known that performance on tests and activities improves after sleep. Experts are now discovering that sleep has a much more powerful influence on our intelligence than we first thought. As an entrepreneur, you need every bit of brain function to continue to create opportunities for your business.
Before you say, “I don’t have time to sleep”, or “I can’t get any more sleep”, I want you to look at how sleeping (or lack of sleep) affects three types of memory crucial to the entrepreneur.
- Procedural- how to do something
It actually makes it more difficult to do things you already know how to do when you are sleep deprived. Have you hit a wall during your day where you feel your brain shut down?
- Declarative- remembering details and key information
Lack of sleep hinders you from taking in and processing new information. Do you find it hard to remember a person’s name just after you have met?
- Episodic- remembering events from your own life
Our brains use experiences as a way to incorporate new information, so it is useful to learning. Without sleep you are less effective at learning from your mistakes. Are you repeating some of the same non-effective behaviors over and over again in your business?
These three types of memory make up the backbone of what we need as entrepreneurs. We are always taking in new information as we learn more and more about growing our businesses. We need to rely on what we already know, be able to process new things we are learning, and then use those experiences in a new way based on prior learning.
Amount of Sleep
Sleep is important.
Now, there is “no magic number” when it comes to the number of hours of sleep you need to improve brain function. Research tells us between 7 and 9 hours of sleep for adults, but you might need more or less, depending on your own rhythm.
I have tested this out for myself and I want to give you a way to determine your BEST sleep number. First, go to bed at the same time each night (I try to do this most nights). This is the beginning of being well rested.
Next, I suggest not setting an alarm for a number of days and see when you naturally wake up. Calculate the number of hours you need based on this and then adjust your bedtime routine so you get up at the hour you need for your day.
Sleep is just one way to help your brain. When you combine it with other healthy behaviors, you will get more accomplished each day.
God has given you this body to take care of so you can do more for Him through your work. If you are not stewarding it well, don’t expect anything great to happen. Ephesians 5:29 equates taking care of our bodies in the same way Christ takes care of the church. ‘No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.’
Take care of your brain and it will take care of your body. Use the resources God has given you to work smart for Him. He never called you to deplete your resources (including your health). He called you to live ABUNDANTLY. John 10:10 says, ‘The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.’
Don’t let sleep be the thief that keeps you from living the life God has designed for you. Connect with me for a Clarity Conversation and we will look at your life and figure out together how to make more room for SLEEP.
Be filled to overflowing,