Let’s be real for a minute. Digital marketing is a 24/7 industry, especially if you deal at all with social media. If you’re not careful, you can end up glued to your laptop or phone late at night, putting out clients’ fires, fixing broken funnels and missing out on quality time with your family or loved ones.
The nature and pace of the industry tend to negatively affect one of the key things we need to function well…sleep.
Why does getting adequate, consistent sleep matter for a digital marketer?
If you are sleep deprived, you could wake up facing a grinding 12-hour day, feeling exhausted, relying on coffee and energy drinks to get by, and worrying in the back of your mind about whether you’ll completely tank an important presentation, webinar or Facebook Live.
But if you get this right, you can wake up fully energized, without caffeine, focused, productive and ready to wow your clients or audience!
Today, I’m going to share 3 simple sleep hacks digital marketers can use to wake up feeling rested, refreshed and ready to be productive.
#1 Go Dark-No, I’m not taking about Facebook dark posts or the health benefits of chocolate. You want to create the darkest sleep environment you possibly can. Close your door, turn off or cover all flashing devices, and use blackout shades.
My wife and I started using blackout shades when our kids were babies, a time when you will do anything for an extra hour of sleep. We never switched back because the shades worked so well. If you’re traveling and don’t have blackout shades, be sure to invest in a quality sleep mask.
#2 Consistency Matters-Both quantity and timing matter when it comes to sleep. Research says that most humans, to feel rested, require anywhere from seven and a half to 10 hours of sleep per night. Probably nothing you haven’t heard before.
With sleep, it’s not just about the quantity but also the timing. A lot of good sleep research suggests that to maximize daily energy level, people should rise between 6:00 and 6:30 AM and go to bed somewhere between 10:00 and 10:30 PM. If you follow these guidelines, your body aligns closest to its natural Circadian rhythms (aka the ideal, natural rhythms of your body).
Think about the times back in history before society had electricity, artificial lights and daylight saving time (all human inventions). After the sun went down, people went inside their homes, read by candlelight for a short time, then headed to bed. When the sun came up, they were out of bed, ready to start their day. Sounds pretty close to the research suggestions.
Getting eight to 10 hours of sleep – and going to bed by 10:00 PM and up by 6:00 AM – sounds simple, but I know it can be really difficult, especially if you have kids.
In addition to running a business, I’m a husband and a dad to three children under eight years old. What does that mean? Like most parents in my situation, it means I’ve barely slept for seven years (all the parents reading this, belt out an “Amen”).
I also know what it’s like to pat yourself on the back for having the discipline to go to bed by 9 PM, looking forward to waking up refreshed, and then getting up the next morning feeling like you’ve been hit by a dump truck because a different kid woke up every two hours (I swear they conspire against usJ).
Bottom Line: Parents, don’t beat yourself up! Do the best you can with the variables you can control.
If you’re not consistently getting enough sleep and following the sleep/wake times suggested, I recommend scheduling it into your calendar. I know this might seem ridiculous, but you must make it a priority and schedule it until it becomes a habit.
#3 Park Your Cell Phone-Having your cell in or near your bed can be detrimental to your sleep. Your cell phone not only gives off a lot of light (Hack #1), but can tempt you into staying up late (Hack #2).
To keep this article under 20 pages, I won’t go into the negative effects of blue light (from cell phones and other devices) on our sleep, but this information is pretty eye-opening. Feel free to read more about it in this article from The Atlantic.
To sleep better, I recommend that you create a parking garage for your phone (check out the one my son, Mattias, made me out of Legos here). This is your phone’s regular parking spot each night. Now pretend it’s a Tesla and create your own electric plug-in station.
Before I started doing this, I didn’t think I had a phone-in-bed problem, but I really did. The changes have made a big difference in the quality and quantity of my sleep.
If your phone’s parking garage is too far away to be an effective alarm clock, use an old-school standard alarm clock with a low light setting.
Of the 3 simple sleep hacks I shared above, which one will make the biggest difference for you?
For the next week, I challenge you to implement at least one sleep hack and see the difference it makes in your energy, focus and productivity levels.
Because digital marketers can have trouble getting sufficient sleep, with sleep deprivation negatively affecting focus and productivity, I created a 30-day coaching program dedicated solely to working on focus and productivity. It’s called “Focus In 30”.
Click here to schedule.
Chris Rudolph is a husband, father of 3, and a Freedom Business Coach for Digital Marketers. He specializes in working with those who are underpaid, hustling around the clock or missing out on valuable family time build their own Freedom Agency. He helps them grow their income, scale with a team and enjoy more time with their family.