The Eagle Blog

The Healthy Executive – Part 4 – Sleep

man asleep with zzzzz coming out of his mouthA 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!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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5 thoughts on “The Healthy Executive – Part 4 – Sleep

  1. First of all I want to tell you that I really enjoy reading your blog. I have absolutly zero interest in the business world but you throw interesting life lessons in the mix. When I see the words “industry”, “executive”, “stock” and such on blog titles I immediatly hit NEXT. But I found myself coming back here so often that I saved your link.
    That said here’s another take on sleep deprivation
    On average I get about 4-5 hours of sleep due to my extremly busy schedule and my night owl habits. I’ve been doing this for so long that my body and mind adjusted. I used to work nights and I found that night staffers are a unique group of people that can succesfully make life mind and body adjustments. Many others have tried and couldn’t stomache it.
    Sleep deprivation is my routine and I have learned to work with it.

  2. First of all I want to tell you that I really enjoy reading your blog. I have absolutly zero interest in the business world but you throw interesting life lessons in the mix. When I see the words “industry”, “executive”, “stock” and such on blog titles I immediatly hit NEXT. But I found myself coming back here so often that I saved your link.
    That said here’s another take on sleep deprivation
    On average I get about 4-5 hours of sleep due to my extremly busy schedule and my night owl habits. I’ve been doing this for so long that my body and mind adjusted. I used to work nights and I found that night staffers are a unique group of people that can succesfully make life mind and body adjustments. Many others have tried and couldn’t stomache it.
    Sleep deprivation is my routine and I have learned to work with it.

  3. Thanks for the positive comments about the blog. You do bring up a good point, that we are all different, and the human body can adapt in amazing ways. Obviously it is working for you and many others. The reading I have done suggests that 6 to 9 hours is the norm for adults, and I can handle 6 hours for long periods but really I find to be at my best my body wants 7 hours.

  4. Thanks for the positive comments about the blog. You do bring up a good point, that we are all different, and the human body can adapt in amazing ways. Obviously it is working for you and many others. The reading I have done suggests that 6 to 9 hours is the norm for adults, and I can handle 6 hours for long periods but really I find to be at my best my body wants 7 hours.

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