001: How Many Hours Does Entrepreneur Sleep

001: How Many Hours Does Entrepreneur Sleep

Do entrepreneurs really sacrifice sleep for success? In this podcast episode 1, we uncover the truth about how many hours entrepreneurs actually sleep each night.
000: Becoming The Sleep Entrepreneur Reading 001: How Many Hours Does Entrepreneur Sleep 16 minutes Next 002: What Time Does Entrepreneur Wake Up


00:00 Podcast introduction
00:31 Welcome to episode 1
00:45 How many hours entrepreneurs sleep may change
00:55 Why is sleep important for entrepreneurs
01:32 Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint
02:12 A false belief about sleep I used to have
02:32 Things to consider when choosing how many hours of sleep you need
02:42 When I was first getting started in entrepreneurship
03:37 Finding a balance once I've got some traction in the business
04:00 You may need to sacrifice some sleep at first
04:10 Overall prioritize your sleep and health for long term success
04:57 Your lifestyle will play into how long you sleep as well
05:31 Recommended amount of sleep according to national sleep foundation
05:46 My sleep needs changed as I adjusted my lifestyle
06:17 The key is to find what works best for you
06:45 How long does entrepreneur need to work?
08:52 What's the premise of becoming an entrepreneur
10:12 An example of a successful entrepreneur that prioritizes sleep
11:10 When sacrificing sleep makes sense
11:58 Episode 1 recap

Podcast Description

Welcome to the Work Hard Sleep Well Podcast with Kris Nowak, where we explore the million dollar question - how can we optimize our sleep for maximum performance, productivity, and success in our busy lives as entrepreneurs and working professionals? Join me as I document my journey of discovery in real time and share practical tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs, working professionals and sleep doctors to help you achieve the best sleep possible.

As we explore different sleeping schedules, proven tricks, and changing relationships with sleep over time, this podcast is tailored for entrepreneurs and working professionals who want to improve their sleep quality, increase productivity, and perform at their best. We understand that you have a lot on your plate, and our aim is to help you manage stress and achieve a better work-life balance.

Through interviews with successful entrepreneurs and sleep experts, we provide unique insights and perspectives on sleep and rest, with a focus on productivity and performance. You can look forward to hearing from a diverse range of guests and answering intriguing questions that you won't find elsewhere. Join us on this journey to discover the secrets to unlocking your true potential through restful sleep.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to Work Hard Sleep Well podcast with Kris Nowak, where we explore the million dollar question. How can we optimize our sleep for maximum performance, productivity and success in our busy lives as entrepreneurs and working professionals? Join me as I document my journey of discovery in real time and share practical tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs, working professionals and sleep doctors to help you achieve the best sleep possible.

So welcome to the episode one. I'm your host, Kris Nowak, and today we're going to talk about how many hours does entrepreneurs sleep? Because I think this is a very interesting question, and it's going to change. As your journey progresses, it's going to change. It definitely changed for me, and I'm certain it did change for many other entrepreneurs.

But okay, so let's get right into this. So why is sleep important for entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurship can be very demanding and very stressful. So you need to take really good care of yourself so you can sustain this. Take care of your physical health, mental health. These are like two very basic, like faucets that you have to take care of. And they affect your ability to focus, your ability to be productive, ability to make right decisions.

And obviously like how healthy you are, how well you feel and all the other staff that's all connected. So sleep has to actually be prioritized here in my opinion. So you can make better decisions. You can feel better and you can actually sustain this journey because it can be very difficult. Um, and I think like a lot of people think. Entrepreneurship is a sprint, right? Meanwhile, it's actually a marathon. It will literally take you.

Contrary to what people kind of try to present to you, it can take you many, many years to get to the point where you're very happy and to reach your goals. And, you know, so it's like a marathon. So you wanna work on your goals and take care of yourself so you can sustain that journey over a long period of time. People tell you that, you know, it may happen quickly and it's...

You know, they kind of try to present to you like it's easy and it's going to happen quickly. No, actually, it's not like that. It may take you very long time to reach your full potential. So you just got to start working on that and taking care of yourself and just start working toward reaching that point.

So let me just like address this one belief I used to have. I used to literally believe that unless I get like solid eight hours of sleep, I cannot be productive. And if you think about this belief, I just don't see it as actually being like beneficial for you, believe that you can be productive even if you don't sleep well enough. And I think that's going to actually work for you better.

So some things to consider here, like how many hours of sleep do you actually need? Are you just getting started in entrepreneurship or are you established?

Because for me, things, for instance, they change a lot. When I was first getting started, I was literally waking up at 3 a.m. because I had like a full-time construction job, and I realized I had to change things around so then I can actually have more time for myself in the morning when I'm sharp, when I have this focus, versus after work when I was already tired. So I would actually go to bed very early. I would be already in bed at 8 a.m.

and I would sleep for seven hours and wake up at 3 a.m. And at that time when I was first getting started, I didn't really do anything else. I just slept and I worked. I didn't really exercise. I didn't really hang out with friends. I didn't really do like any leisure time. Like all I really wanted to focus at at the time was generating traction in business. And of course that's not really sustainable long-term. Like you can't live like that.

forever, you're gonna get burnt out, you're not gonna feel like very good, you're not gonna feel happy. But my goal was to start a business no matter what. I wanted to have a successful business no matter what. And I was willing to sacrifice myself for it. So to me, if that's what it takes to actually, break through and be able to work for myself and not have to work for somebody else, I was happy to do it, right? But now that I had some...

Businesses established and I'm more established now. Would I want to live like that right now? Absolutely not, because to me, prioritizing different facets of my life, like exercise and some recreation, some family time, these things are more important to me now than just like constantly grinding and just trying to generate traction. So this may change, like how much sleep you're gonna get may change as you progress through your journey.

At first, you may actually need to sacrifice some sleep to generate traction. But overall, you know, once you, once you generate some traction and like you establish yourself a little bit, I think prioritizing your sleep and your health is going to be way better for you because at the end of the day, you know, it's a marathon, this may take you a very long time to get to that point. Like when you start, you have this vision and you have this big ambition. You want to get into business. You want to get going.

And you know, like you start working on it, but like it may actually not work out the way you think it will. It may take you way longer. It may take you way more effort, way more energy, way more money, way more everything that you consider to get to the point where you want it to get. And it's okay. It's, you know, that's, that's, that's business. That's business. So this can definitely change for you.

And so I personally like at the point where I'm at in business right now, I have another successful e-commerce company. I'm building sleep a lot from ground up, you know, and I train, I train MMA five times a week. So I actually need to sleep at very least seven solid hours of sleep every night. And sometimes longer than that, just because I do like very intensive exercise. And it's also like later in the evening as well. So.

I tested this if I sleep like six hours or less with my current lifestyle, I actually can't, I'm not as productive, I'm not as sharp, I'm not as focused as if I actually slept like seven to eight to nine hours. So you may need to test this to see what works for you.

So the recommended amount of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
And this may actually depend on many factors, your lifestyle, your genetics, your chronotype and all of the stuff.

When I was, you know, when I wasn't doing MMA and I would just wake up earlier at the time and I would sleep like around like seven hours as well, but like no longer than seven hours, I would just do some running in the morning and that would, I would do my exercise in the morning. I'll be able to get to sleep earlier.

and I wouldn't have to sleep as long. But now that I do my exercise later and I do much more intensive exercise, I don't find that six or seven hours is enough sleep for me.

So this is very personal and this may actually evolve and change as you go.

I think it's just about finding what works for you and just creating a lifestyle that actually serves you versus getting caught up in, oh, I have to sleep X amount of hours because it depends on so many factors. Like I mentioned, your lifestyle, do you exercise a lot? 

At the end of the day, I think it's about finding a formula that works for you as an entrepreneur, considering where you are in your journey. And as you get some traction as things you know, start to get some momentum, adjusting it so you have more like a balance.

So you can exercise, you can hang out with your friends and everything is still being taken care of. At the end of the day, extrapolating back from what I understand, entrepreneurs, so if you work like nine to five, if you work for somebody else, typically you would work like eight hours per day. As an entrepreneur, you're probably gonna have to work more than that, probably 10 hours per day, right? But it's not also only about how long you work, but also about the quality of the work you do.

because if you work for let's say four hours and you're super focused, no notifications, no distractions, and you just focus on accomplishing stuff and getting stuff done, then you're way better off doing that and just focusing on high leverage activities that's generating your results, than if you just spent 10 hours working and you're just scattered all over the place, you're checking your email for no reason, you're checking your notification.

So is it only amount of hours that you work? I don't think so. I think it's about focusing on executing on elements that give you the best bang for your buck. So then you can accomplish more in less time and you don't actually have to work nearly as long because of course there's a correlation between how long you work and how much you accomplish. If you're going to work longer, you're gonna accomplish more. But then at the same time, the deep work.

sort to say there's a book called Deep Work. I forget the author, but it's a really good book. And it talks about prioritizing things that actually have big impact, right? And so the activities that actually have big impact and bring you closer to where you need to be to generate the results that you need to be, those are the deep work activities, right? And then...

things that they have to get done, but they don't really provide so much value, those are called shallow work activities, right? So if you spend your entire day and you just focus on shallow work and you're not really generating much traction, then that's not really getting you so much results. So at the end of the day, you're probably better off if you do five hours of quality deep work per day and couple hours of shallow work.

And let's say that seven hours of work and you still got a lot of done and you prioritize on what you need to work on versus if you spend 10 to 12 hours per day and you scattered all over the place and you do shallow work and you're unorganized and you're not really focusing on things that generate your results because there's definitely a correlation to that, right?

You know, when you go into entrepreneurship, you have this big idea, this big vision. Of course, there's personal motivation, like becoming financially independent and being able to work whatever you want for yourself. And all of this is great. But I think the goal of entrepreneurship, based on what I understand now, is actually structuring things and accomplishing things in a way that you work less hours and you can focus on

living a lifestyle that actually empowers you to be happy, to be doing what you want, when you want, with whom you want, which is called freedom actually, doing what you want, where you want, with whom you want, right? That's the premise of becoming an entrepreneur. So you can take a vacation every three years for a week or two weeks of structuring everything in that way. I don't think becoming an entrepreneur, like you become an entrepreneur, so you have to work.

I know 10 to 12 hours, six to seven days a week and have no life and get burned out and just do absolutely nothing else. You know, I don't see, I don't see a point of that. I think we want to structure things in a way that will empower us to, to live our best lives. And that's what I'm accomplishing here. That's what I'm working towards as well personally.

And then so lastly, an example of a very successful entrepreneur in 2016, there was an interview and he said, I prioritize sleep. I think better when I sleep better. I have more energy and my mood is better. And he wakes up at around 6 30 AM. Right. He, he, he's known to get at least eight hours of sleep per night. It was actually Jeff Bezos. So if somebody very successful at Jeff Bezos is prioritizing sleep and understands the importance of getting quality sleep every night.

I really don't see a reason why you wouldn't prioritize that as an entrepreneur. Of course, you know, he's been doing business for a very long time and it definitely changed for him as his journey progressed, right? But I just see absolutely no downsides when you consider that it's a marathon and not a sprint to prioritizing your sleep so you can stay healthy, you can stay sharp, you can feel better, you can do more quality work, you can be more productive, more focused.

The list goes on and on and on. Why would you sacrifice your sleep, you know, to get some, unless it's like a big emergency, like a huge emergency and you know, like you can't process payments on your website or something really huge happens, you're actually better off shutting it down for the day, getting your quality sleep, starting fresh the next day.

Instead of just trying to squeeze more work the same day when you're already exhausted, you're probably not doing deep work sessions anymore. You're not doing quality work. You're just doing shallow work. Prioritize what actually makes difference. Right? And it's a marathon. Understand it's a marathon and not a sprint. It may take you many, many years to reach your big vision. It doesn't mean that it's not worth trying and going for it. It just means it's not instant gratification.

that we were kind of like trained to believe it is.

Okay, so that's it for episode one. I hope that I was able to answer the question for you, how many hours does entrepreneur sleep? I'll see you in the next episode, peace.

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