Sleep is something that can be a big issue for studio owners for a variety of reasons. Teaching late, staying up late catching up on work, 5.30am classes. Studio ownership isn’t quite in the same arena as shift work but it can (and often does!) result in disrupted sleep patterns and poor over all.
If you’re finding that sleep is becoming less and less of a priority for you, here are a few ways to improve your sleep when you’re a studio owner.
1. Be as consistent as possible
If you’re up at 5am to teach an early morning class, it can be really tempting to sleep in until 10am on the days you aren’t teaching early classes but this can really mess with your circadian rhythms. Sleep a little later but try to keep your sleep and wake times to within an hour window on each side, regardless of whether you’re working or not.
2. Set yourself up for success
Did you know that in order to fall asleep your body temperature must drop? This means your bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet in order for you to get the best possible sleep. If you need to have an earlier night than your family or housemates, communicate to them that you need quiet to get good sleep. You could also try wearing earplugs and using a white noise machine. Just remember to keep it cool, calm and quiet.
3. Embrace napping
A lot of studio owners work in split shifts – often for a few hours in the morning with a break in the middle of the day, followed by another shift later in the day that often stretches well into the evening. A 15 to 20 minute can give you the energy boost you need to feel refreshed for your afternoon classes. Try to have your nap as early in the day as possible to avoid it affecting your night sleep. Also cap your nap at 45 minutes maximum. That’s half an adult sleep cycle so that will stop you from entering full REM and waking up groggy and cranky.
4. Keep your phone out of your room while you sleep
If you absolutely need to be contactable, keep your phone on high volume out of the room for calls only from selected numbers. Otherwise turn on silent and properly commit to your nap.
5. Be wary of caffeine
We all knew this was coming! As a studio owner you probably love coffee – often it’s the only thing to get you through a big afternoon of rehearsals. Everyone metabolises caffeine at a different rate, so experiment what works for you. The less caffeine you have the better but a coffee in the morning shouldn’t do too much damage. Experiment and see what works for you. Alcohol will also affect the quality of your sleep (sorry!) so avoiding your night cap will definitely help. Try avoiding eating directly before bed as your body needs time to digest otherwise it will keep you awake.
Also as a studio owner, you have the power to set your own hours. So if your schedule isn’t working for you, it’s time to outsource or re-jig some things.
Have a great sleep!
All my best,