Why a Successful Night’s Sleep is Crucial to Being Successful

When adults are busy adult-ing, sleep often becomes a mythic creature of bedtimes past. A successful life is linked to a successful night’s sleep, but in this crazy, busy world—that seems like a nice dream only fit for four-year-olds.

The truth is that, while you technically can get away with less sleep than a child, you still need the best quality of sleep to achieve your goals in daily life.

Sleep and Success Go Hand in Hand

When you think of the qualities that lead to success, you’re probably considering traits like ambition, hard work, determination and creativity, but the biggest key to business and life success is the quality of your sleep. You need a restful night’s sleep if you want to wake up refreshed to tackle your day, and that’s because:

  • Good sleep affects long term and short term memory.
  • Bad sleep shortens your fuse, making you prone to irritability and anger.
  • Chronic bad sleep quality shortens your life span.
  • When you’re sleep deficient, you’re basically drunk—only without your liver dealing with the aftermath of alcohol intake. Sleep deficiency leads to mental deficiency.

For the sake of your sanity, your health and your golden ticket to success, it’s time that you and sleep became good friends. Don’t rely on counting sheep to coerce sleep into your head. There are more productive tactics to get a good night’s sleep and dream your way to success:

  1. Regulate Your Sleep

The quality of your sleep correlates to the consistency of your sleep schedule. Seven to nine hours of sleep is best for the adult body. When you’re waking up or going to bed at different times, including the weekends, your body will have a different quality of sleep each time.

It’s important to regulate your sleep schedule every day, so that you are going to bed and waking up at consistent intervals. If you have to nap during the day, limit those naps to 20 minutes, because the longer you snooze the more difficult it will be to go to sleep at night.

Even if you work late night shifts, staying on a consistent schedule is key. If you leave work late in the morning, sun glasses will limit your light exposure and help you get to sleep more easily.

Find a schedule that works for your body and your work-life balance. When you have regular and restful sleep, you’ll wake up refreshed to start each day anew.

  1. Invest in Less Screen Time

Do you check email and social media right before going to bed? Are your straining eyes glued to the light of the TV? Nightly screen time up to one hour before bed impedes your ability to sleep well. 95 percent of people use an electronic device during the hour before bed, at least a few nights a week.

The light from the screen mimics daylight exposure, keeping your eyes open. Your body needs the transition of light fading to cue it into sleep mode. At least thirty minutes before bed, power down those devices.

However, technology can help you manage your sleep. There are sleep apps that track your sleep cycle or install a filter on your phone to adjust screen brightness. There’s even a light bulb called the Drift Light that works like any regular light, but when you activate the “midnight mode” it fades to dark slowly within 37 minutes, just like the sunset. Technology can hinder or help your quality of sleep.

  1. You May Need a New Mattress

Waking up stiff and sore, more so than you were a year or two ago? If you’re in a relationship and your partner stretches out when sleeping, stress out less with a queen or a king mattress. A mattress may have normal wear and tear, but you need a new mattress when the old one is no longer comfortable.

Resolving your sleep issues may mean investing in a new mattress. If so, consider saving time, and money by avoiding sales pitches, by buying your mattress online. Focus on what you need and not getting bombarded with options by having a mattress shipped to you.

Confusion can lead to an expensive and uncomfortable mattress. At least you’ll have time to ask questions and do your research before you purchase a mattress.

  1. Establish a bedtime routine

You know that you need a regular schedule to sleep and need to be as relaxed as possible to rest well for the night. However, what if you’re having trouble relaxing? Your body doesn’t seem to be picking up the cues that it’s bedtime.

Like your sleep schedule, your cues need to also be consistent. This is where establishing a bedtime routine is helpful to relaxing your body and your mind to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Bedtime routines are best done thirty minutes to an hour before bed. Your ritual may consist of yoga, reading a book, taking a bath or writing down your worries and joys in a journal.

A good night’s sleep is crucial to success in your daily life. Show up for your bed time routine. Sink into your comfortable mattress, and wake up refreshed and ready to conquer the day ahead.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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