Business Problem Solving and Sleep During the Covid-19 Crisis

By Clinton Marquardt - Sleep & Fatigue Specialist

April 30, 2020

Business problem solving, COVID-19, Entrepreneurship, Sleep, sleep well

Have you noticed all the “pivoting” businesses have been doing during the COVID-19 crisis? The entrepreneurial spirit has kicked into overdrive as enterprises of all sizes find creative ways to stay alive, service their clients and contribute to humanitarian efforts. You can now buy a car and have it delivered to your home without ever stepping into a dealership. Your doctor can diagnose and treat you over the phone; and you can order take-home food and drinks from the best restaurants in town.

Although the creative outcomes are varied, I bet all the entrepreneurs behind them have one thing in common…they are prioritizing their sleep to ensure they get a good night of it. Entrepreneurs who sleep better are more effective than entrepreneurs who don’t sleep well. Their performance on tasks that are foundational to being a good entrepreneur, like being able to imagine promising new venture ideas, is positively influenced by a good night of sleep[1].

One way to improve your chance of getting a good night of sleep is to set yourself up for success by preparing your brain and body for sleep. We do this through a series of behaviours that you perform before every sleep period, including your naps. These behaviours form a bedtime ritual that signals to your brain and body that it is time for sleep. The more often you repeat these behaviours and fall asleep after them, the stronger the behavioural association and the more effective the bedtime ritual. Here are a few tips to help you set up your bedtime ritual.Enter your text here...

  1. Make the ritual at least 45 minutes long.
  2. Start by dimming all the lights in your home and closing all window coverings.
  3. Turn off all electronic devices including TV’s and smartphones.
  4. Brush your teeth and wash your face with warm but not hot water.
  5. Change into comfy sleep clothes.
  6. Recline in a soothing chair in your bedroom with the lights very dim.
  7. Read something non-engaging, like a boring novel or an old text book, or do a relaxation exercise like meditation.
  8. Continue the previous step until you feel the signs of sleepiness, like finding it hard to read or head nods.
  9. Turn off the lights.
  10. Crawl into bed with the intention of letting sleep come over you.
  11. Enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Need a bedtime ritual designed just for you?
Ask Clint for some FREE tips on bedtime rituals through the Fatigue Management Network’s Sleep Coaching forum:


[1] Gish, J., Wagner, D., Grégoire, D., & Barnes, C. (2019). Sleep and entrepreneurs’ abilities to imagine and form initial beliefs about new venture ideas. Journal of Business Venturing, 34(6), 105943.

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