#12 Sleep Tips for Corporate Women Leaders From Sleep Expert Anne Marie Boyhan

The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 12, 16 March 2022 by Lucy Gernon

Sleep is so important for your mental health, physical health and spirituality. Many women in corporate leadership find it hard to wind down and sleep. You worry and wake up with the to-do list swirling around in your heads. Right?

My guest in this episode is Anne Marie Boyhan, ex-corporate leader and founder of The Sleep Care Company. Anne Marie is passionate about sleep, interiors and making a home a haven.

Anne-Marie found it difficult to jiggle creche pickups, family life, weekend life and corporate life. She was always on. She would continue working at night, emails always pinging and the phone was always in hand. When there was a crisis, Anne-Marie had to rally the troops and get this sorted. She was very loyal and worked until the job was done or until she felt she had delivered.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • Anne Marie’s experience of corporate burnout and how you can avoid it

  • What a “buffer” is and how it will transform your sleep quality

  • 10 ideas to create a sleep time ritual that works for you

Anne Marie’s Story of Burnout and Founding The Sleep Company

This always-on work ethic had a detrimental effect on her health. She was drinking lots of coffee and eating badly just to keep the energy up. No exercise or fresh air. It was all go, go-go.

Anne Marie was looking after everybody else but herself. Her Mum was successful in her career and Annemarie was raised to believe she could do anything and had a strong work ethic. It was a work hard, play hard mentality. This eventually took its toll and Annemarie experienced burnout. She had symptoms of dizziness and even fell over a few times. She says her GP told her this happens to a lot of people and you’re not alone.

Her body couldn’t deal with all the stress. Her GP told her to take time off and it was at this point because her health had taken a hit she decided enough was enough and it was time to leave the corporate world to do something different. She realised that if she kept going at this pace, she knew she would have more serious health issues. That was when she founded The Sleep Care Company.

Anne Marie believes “Your health is your wealth” and you need to take care of yourself and prioritise sleep.

Burnout and sleep

Your sleep can be affected badly when you’re not able to wind down. If you are on your phone a lot and being stressed can really affect your sleep. If a senior person in the company sends and email, sometimes there are no boundaries, you can feel like you must reply. Sleep deprivation can affect your productivity and your body badly.

Sleep Journal can help with sleep. You can grab The Sleep Journal here. Develop a mini-routine for yourself in the evening to signal to your body. You can use products to help you sleep like nighttime skincare and magnesium supplements. You can see all the sleep products The Sleep Care Company provides here.

Create a buffer between your daytime and sleep time

Create a buffer between daytime and sleep time. You have to separate your daily life and your sleep. We often go straight from one activity to another. You can’t exercise till 10 pm at night as your body temperature has to lower and relax to facilitate sleep. This buffer tells your body daytime is finished, now it’s night time.

Your buffer can be anything that works for you to have an hour to shut up shop and wind down. Pack away your work, including work notes etc. Choose an activity that will help you wind down. It’s about getting from your sympathetic nervous system (go go go on the lookout for threat) to your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).

Choose an activity that works for you like:

  1. Listening to podcast

  2. Having a warm bath or shower

  3. Mindful body scan using the free app insight timer; the bedtime body scan. It’s a meditation that goes through your body to ground you and sleep.

  4. Meditation

  5. Bedtime yoga

  6. A small ritual like lighting a candle or diffuser.

  7. Journaling

  8. Reading a book

  9. Shut down your phone an hour before bed

  10. Drink herbal tea or take a magnesium supplement

Choose something that works for you. If you don’t do that, you’ll continue on the treadmill & you’ll feel worse for it.

Give yourself permission not to be a martyr. Don’t feel guilty for switching off. You are in control of your own mind. Give yourself permission to switch off. You’ll feel better about it.