New study finds that when entrepreneurs feel exhausted but don't have time for enough sleep, they can replenish their energy with mindfulness exercises like meditation. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Business Venturing.
The study showed that when entrepreneurs feel exhausted but cannot afford the time for adequate sleep, they may be able to replenish their energy with mindfulness exercises.
"You can't replace sleep with mindfulness exercises, but they might help compensate and provide a degree of relief," said lead researcher, Charles Murnieks, Assistant Professor from the Oregon State University in the US.
For the study, the researchers included 105 entrepreneurs who were asked about their exhaustion levels, whether they engaged in mindfulness practices. If so, how often and for how long.
They were also asked about the number of hours they slept each night.
The findings showed more than 40 percent of the participants reported working 50 hours per week or more on average and sleeping less than 6 hours a night.
The team found that the entrepreneurs who slept more, or who engaged in the highest levels of mindfulness exercises, reported lower levels of exhaustion.
Also, the second study consisting of 329 entrepreneurs, also confirmed the findings of the initial study that mindfulness can combat feelings of exhaustion.
However, in both studies, the team also found that mindfulness exercises are less helpful if you are getting adequate sleep but still feeling exhausted.
"If you're feeling stressed and not sleeping, you can compensate with mindfulness exercises to a point. But when you're not low on sleep, mindfulness doesn't improve those feelings of exhaustion," said Murnieks.
More research is needed to understand better how mindfulness exercises may help weary entrepreneurs and the limits of those beneficial effects, the study noted.