Getting enough sleep might seem like the most important step to turning a good night into a good day. But it’s not just getting enough of it that matters.
Julie Dahl, president of the Minnesota Sleep Society (a group of sleep professionals aiming to educate and advocate for the importance of sleep), said it’s not just how much sleep you get, but when you get it, meaning a “good night” can mean different things to different people.
“It’s not even about the right amount, but the right timing,” Dahl said. “[There’s] not enough emphasis on this.”
While societal schedules may make this difficult for some, understanding your own circadian rhythm is critical for performance, she said.
…Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise
What a good night means for Jared Sieling, founder and CEO of virtual cardiac rehab startup Chanl Health, is early to bed and early to rise. With a developer team overseas, Sieling gets up around 4 a.m. every morning to connect with the crew and be productive before everyone the day starts for everyone else.
“I have my best ideas from 4 to 5,” he said. “[It’s when] things are clicking and I can focus on one thing without being distracted by the day.”
Sieling, who founded Chanl Health in May of 2017, is unique in the way that he can completely detach from work once he closes the laptop for the evening — a skill he’s quick to mention is a blessing.
“When I’m going to bed at night or with the family, I’m able to not think about it at all,” he said.
Wake Up, Work
It’s not quite the same for John Peine, founder of FRISKA, a family of natural supplements containing digestive enzymes to help improve gut health and overall health.
With 15 years of experience at Target, Peine said his most stressful day at that job doesn’t even compare to 50 of the days that he’s experienced since founding FRISKA in April 2019.
“When I was at Target, I never woke up at 2 a.m. with something on my mind and couldn’t go back to sleep,” Peine said.
Aiming to go about work in a healthier way, Peine now creates to-do lists, also rises early, and takes one of the FRISKA supplements that focuses on nightly digestion and better sleep. And there are no more sleepless nights —he’ll fire up the laptop right then and there to work on whatever problem woke him up to help get back in the good night groove.
Both Peine and Sieling are critically aware of their own health, as founders of health-related startups.
“Our jobs are to help clinicians get patients to do [the rehab],” Sieling said of the Chanl Health app that provides a three-month rehab program for cardiac patients, including exercise and dietary recommendations.
“We’re always aware of how little sleep we may be getting or if we’re not fitting in our exercise, because we’re building tools to make sure patients are doing the same thing,” he said.
One way the team makes sure they’re holding each other accountable is by checking in week by week and casually discussing exercise routines.
“We just talk about it, because it’s such an important part of the startup,” Sieling said of his fitness-oriented team.
On days after he doesn’t get enough sleep, Peine said it’s important to do what you need to do to maintain energy levels not just for work, but for family. Taking a 30-minute nap and eating healthy foods are ways he “charges the batteries.”
“Don’t feel guilty for doing that,” he said of taking time to rest. “It’s the best thing for all involved.”
Interested in hearing more about health lifestyles from Minnesota entrepreneurs? Check out some other entries in our Work Well series!