Work Life Balance

We asked 11 top entrepreneurs: ‘How do you sleep at night?’

By Kitty Knowles 17 March 2017

“Don’t run a bank”.

Balancing work and life is never easy: we’ve all felt the pain of burning the candle at both ends.

Today, as we become more and more digitally saturated, the challenge of switching off is only getting harder.

Now, on World Sleep Day, we decided to step in to help. We’ve asked the expert advice from some of our most inspiring ‘Boss It Like’ leaders.

However you want to take on the world, it’s never been more important to wind down.

Why not do it like a boss?

Debbie Wosskow, CEO at Love Home Swap & Co-founder at ShareStyle

“I’m an early bird rather than a night owl and love nothing more than unwinding with a bath and a scroll through Instagram (the food and fitness bloggers are my guilty pleasure).”

“I try to be in bed by 10.30pm when possible.”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Debbie Wosskow, CEO Love Home Swap

George Brasher, Managing Director of HP UK & Ireland

“It’s easy to get caught up on emails till late at night especially when you work for a big international company but it’s important that we spend time with our families and friends and take time out.”

“I am a big movie and TV fan and that helps me unwind and shut off – I just binge-watched Stranger Things!”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… George Brasher, Managing Director of HP UK & Ireland

Tom Blomfield, CEO of Monzo.

Tom Blomfield, Co-founder & CEO at Monzo

“I’m normally out of the office by 7 or 8, but I’m typically on email and Slack until midnight, which isn’t good for sleep. I’m trying to find better ways of switching off – I’d love something to disable my email account after 9pm.”

The only thing Tom would like to add is:

“Don’t run a bank!”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Tom Blomfield, CEO at Mondo

Sarah Wood,‎ Co-Founder & CEO Unruly

“I like to get home before the kids bedtime at least three nights a week so we can wind down together watching Modern Family on the sofa and drinking cups of tea.”

“We do drink a lot of tea.”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Sarah Wood, co-founder Unruly

Blake Mycoskie, founder of ethical shoe company TOMS. Pic: TOMS.
Blake Mycoskie, founder of ethical shoe company TOMS. Pic: TOMS.

Blake Mycoskie, Founder at TOMS shoes

“I usually work until 7 or 8 p.m. I’m not a late-night person so I try to designate certain times throughout the day for emails so I can spend quality time with my family and friends at evenings.

“I unwind by going home to Topanga to be with my wife and my 15-months old son.”

“I really cherish every single moment I can with both of them.”

Read more: How to Boss It Like… Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes

Danae Ringelmann, Founder & CDO Indiegogo

“Every night I take 2 tablespoons of Apothe-Cherry juice in a glass of water about 30 min to an hour before I head to bed. It helps with digestion and in turn a deeper sleep. I’ve been doing it for about 5 months now.”

“I can feel the difference.”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Danae Ringelmann, founder Indiegogo

Jeff Lynn, co-founder and CEO of Seedrs.

Jeff Lynn, Co-founder & CEO at Seedrs

“I’ve never been one of these people who can deal with only four or five hours night after night: I try very hard to get seven or eight hours every night, and I’ve found the best way to do this has been to become a morning person.|

“I get up between 5 and 6am, and I’m usually in the office either side of 7am; that makes it possible for me to leave by around 6pm, get home to see my 10-month-old daughter before she goes to sleep, have dinner with my wife, and after a bit of extra work or TV, get to bed between 9pm and 10pm.”

“I feel like I’ve become my grandparents, but it works for me.”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Jeff Lynn, Seedrs CEO

Sally Gunnell OBE, Olympian & entrepreneur

“I try to stay offline in the evening – part of real wellbeing means not working around the clock or burning out: I eat a good dinner (not too late), watch a little telly, have a warm bath and then to bed.

“I got a lovely aromatherapy vaporiser for Christmas: I put a few drops of lavender in that before drifting off to sleep.”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Sally Gunnell OBE, Olympian & entrepreneur

Nancy Cruickshank & Kate Shapland, co-founders of MyShowcase.

Nancy Cruickshank, Co-founder & CEO of MyShowcase

“I take time out to be with my family (mainly between 7pm–9pm) but I often dive back into work after that.”

“I do love a TV series on my iPad and I often wind down with a few minutes of my favourite series – possibly even a whole episode, if I don’t fall asleep with my iPad on my head!”

“Breaking Bad, Homeland, Scandal & the like seem to offer great escape & send me off to a satisfactory night’s sleep!”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Nancy Cruickshank, CEO of MyShowcase

Anthony Fletcher, CEO Graze.

Anthony Fletcher, CEO at Graze

“I work until 7pm. I’ll take some calls and answer selected emails in the evening, it isn’t an issue for me.”

“Wind down is an evening run along the Thames, lemon verbena tea and a trashy book.

“I go to bed early but have never slept much. Sleeping poorly has been a feature of most of my life and I find that as long as you don’t let it bother you too much it doesn’t affect you.”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Anthony Fletcher, CEO of Graze

Charlotte Pearce, Founder Inkpact.

Charlotte Pearce, Founder & CEO at Inkpact

“I have yet to master my evening routine – I’ll keep reading and sending emails all evening, which I don’t think is healthy.”

“When I go to sleep I put my phone on airplane mode so it doesn’t wake me up with notifications. I’ve also started using Pzizz” sleeping when your mind is 100% on the business is hard, but this app puts me to sleep in seconds.”

“Couldn’t live without it!”

Read more: How To Boss It Like… Charlotte Pearce, founder & CEO of Inkpact

Sweet dreams on World Sleep Day! Come back next Thursday for our next #BossItLike interview, and get in touch if you know a leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.