How Sleep Apnea can Kill your Entrepreneur Dreams – we

How Sleep Apnea can Kill your Entrepreneur Dreams

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How Sleep Apnea can Kill your Entrepreneur Dreams

These days, the words ‘startup’, ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘small businesses’ set the hearts of youngsters across the world racing. A 2014 NASSCOM report states that India has 3,100 startups with 800 new ones starting every year. This makes the country the world’s third largest startup ecosystem. So if ever there was a good time to become an entrepreneur, this is it!

However, these numbers don’t speak of the immense amount of hard work and dedication that is required to start a new venture and make it a success. Obviously, your health needs to be ship shape if you are to perform at your optimum levels and you need to take care of the basic tenets – diet, exercise, sleep and stress.

Unfortunately for many entrepreneurs, sleep is the first thing that goes out the window when they start working on their dreams. Proper sleep is necessary for good cognitive function and energy levels which are crucial for an entrepreneur. It’s no wonder then, that famous entrepreneurs like Arianna Huffington (of The Huffington Post) insist on good quality shut eye for success.

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep isn’t enough; it’s the quality and not the quantity that matters. Going to bed and waking up at the ‘right’ times is of no use if you are plagued by sleep problems. A common culprit of interrupted sleep and daytime sleepiness is sleep apnea, where a person’s sleep is interrupted by breathing pauses that deprive his brain of oxygen. The result is an extremely groggy entrepreneur who is so sleepy he can barely drive!

Here are 6 different ways in which a sleep problem like sleep apnea can kill your entrepreneur dreams:

  1. Inability to Deal with Problems: An entrepreneur’s journey is full of unexpected problems and bottlenecks! During deep, restful sleep, your subconscious works on your problems, so when you wake up, you are better equipped to deal with them. However, sleep apnea prevents deep sleep, and your subconscious never gets a chance to work on those niggling issues.

    As John Steinback says, “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

  2. Increased Potential for Errors: An entrepreneur often works with a very tight budget and has lots of critical calculations to make and budgets to prepare. But with sleep apnea, your conscious brain is unable to get a break, resulting in foggy cognitive abilities. Research shows that people in sleep deprived states are prone to making risky financial decisions, which can prove very costly to a startup.

  3. Bad Behaviour towards Employees: As an entrepreneur, you need to have a focused team you can rely upon, which is going to be hard when you’re snapping at them all day! Sleep apnea is commonly associated with feeling irritable and cranky, and even depression, which can soon leave you without any employees – no one likes a mean boss! Besides, constantly yawning can send a wrong message to your team, and bring down everyone’s morale.

  4. Poor Performance during Meetings: As mentioned earlier, a major problem faced by entrepreneurs is organizing capital for their business, which means that there are bound to be many meetings with potential investors. However, one major effect of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness which can spell doom for afternoon meetings. After all, falling asleep during an important meeting or presentation will not go down well with anyone who’s considering investing in your company!

  5. Decreased Creativity: The average age of a startup founder in Bengaluru has been found to be 28.5 – possibly because young brains have the most creative ideas! However, when you have sleep apnea, your body encounters sleep deficits which can age your brain by 4-7 years. When you’re looking for smarter solutions and innovation, you cannot afford a brain that’s ageing prematurely!

  6. Increased Chances of Lifestyle Diseases: Sleep apnea has been associated with a range of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardiac issues. When you’re devoting all your time and effort to your dream venture, you can’t afford such diseases which can eat into your time, money and life. Being an entrepreneur has its own share of stresses; you don’t want to add any more!

    Now you know how crucial good sleep is to an entrepreneur, and how a sleep disorder like sleep apnea can kill your dreams before they come true. So if you’re having any sign of a sleep problem such as snoring, frequent night time urination or daytime sleepiness, consult a sleep specialist right away. He’ll be able to perform some tests and guide you towards the right course of treatment, so that you can regain your health and energy, which will help you work at your full capacity. So go ahead, have a good night’s rest and wake up in the morning, raring to go. Now nothing’s going to stop you from making your dreams come true!

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