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The Healthy Executive - Part 4 - Sleep

A few years ago I tried an experiment to try and understand how little sleep I could get away with. For a number of weeks I reduced the number of hours until I was sleeping 5 hours a night, which I felt would be a great way to get more time to do things I really want to do!

What did I find out?

1. I need 7 hours sleep!
2. I can exist on 5 hours sleep for a few days at a time … then I really feel it!
3. The affects are cumulative, so it takes me a little while to recover from an extended time when I have been sleep deprived.
4. My attention to detail and ability to focus were noticeably affected when sleep deprived.
5. I was more irritable when sleep deprived … that really impresses clients!
6. I found myself dozing off in meetings and at night after supper when sleep deprived. That also impresses clients!
7. When the weekends came I was a totally exhausted and wanted to sleep all the time. That impresses the family!
8. It reminded me a lot of the period when we were starting this company!

I think that we can all forego sleep to some degree, but generally speaking we need to get a minimum amount of sleep. Without that minimum amount we lose effectiveness and any gains in hours are quickly lost in reduced productivity.

There is a ton of information about the affects of sleep deprivation, there is even a website of that name. There is also plenty of information about the healing power of sleep.

So, the very clear message from me through today’s blogs … get fit, keep in shape and look after yourself. The result will be more energy, and the ability to live life to the full … with a side benefit that you WILL perform better in your job!