Suppose that the innovative new product your team has been working on is ready for the big launch, which will open up new markets, increase your market share, put your company in the lead, and skyrocket your stock prices. Prelaunch testing and research have all been positive. Popular media have given rave reviews, and they are covering the launch like the first iPhone launch. Your colleagues and your suppliers are all optimistic and excited about the new product. Can you turn off the adrenaline at bedtime? Can you shut off your mind when you put your head on the pillow? Can you sleep well during these times?
Here is another scenario: You have had a productive and very satisfying day at work. You are relaxing with your spouse. The kids are doing their homework. Then you get a text message from your star performer: “Sorry, I have decided to move on. I have accepted a job at another company.” You knew this might happen, but did not expect it so soon and at a time when things were going so well for the company and for your star employee. You have been through this before. It does give you an opportunity to find someone with a different skill set, but in the short run, it increases your workload. “I can handle that, too. I’m not worried about this. I have built this company from scratch. I can tough it out until we can find someone good,” you tell yourself. That night, you do not sleep well. The next morning, you wake up achy and tired.
Can you prevent this? Can you uncover anxiety when it is underneath the surface? And then can you successfully detach yourself from the troubles? Can you sleep well no matter what? You will have to, if you want to maximize your leadership during these exciting times. The following are a few helpful tips for those exciting or anxious times:
- Assign ten o’clock at night to six o’clock in the morning as sacred time, reserved for resting and recharging instead of planning and worrying.
- Get rid of all work-related material from your bedroom, including your laptop and smartphone.
- Continue your relaxing bedtime ritual: shower, relaxing reading, cookies and milk, and meditation, per your preference.
- Read your favorite lines from the Bible or any other religious book to calm your nerves.
- Turn off the lights and go to sleep.
If you continue to have problems sleeping during exciting times, talk to your physician about using a mild sleep aid. This will prevent mounting sleep debt and, more importantly, prevent formation of an unhealthy conditioned reflex, which can perpetuate insomnia.