How much sleep do successful people get?
Depending on the person, anything between 4 and 8 hours, according to Forbes.
The NHS suggests we should sleep 8 hours per night, although some people need more than this and others need less.
The one thing several of the world’s most successful people have in common is that they get up early and don’t go to bed ridiculously late.
But why is sleep so important?
Well, because it can have a devastating impact on your performance at work and on your health.
If you’re waking up with the heaviest of eyelids and finding yourself desperate to nap throughout the day, there’s likely a lack of sleep behind it all.
In March, which is National Bed Month, there’s no better to time right the nocturnal wrong of lack of sleep.
Here’s how not sleeping enough could be affecting you:
Sleep affects your mood
How awful do you feel when you lash out at someone for no good reason?
You feel like a total ogre, right?
Sleep deprivation affects your mood as well as the ability to manage your emotions.
If you’re a business owner, you can’t just go around berating your employees; and if you’re an employee, you can’t just take everything out on your colleagues.
Sure, you might have the odd bad day and grumble now and then.
That’s a world away, however, from blowing up regularly at the people around you.
They’ll see you as cold and unapproachable, which creates distance between them and you.
No matter what obstacles you’re facing, you must remain calm and collected. This helps your employees to stay motivated, come forward with new ideas or opinions and, ultimately, feel that their work makes a difference (which it does).
You make poor decisions
A dreadful night’s sleep could have a disastrous impact on your decision making, simply because you can’t function as well.
That includes being able to think straight and make sound decisions.
If you have an important decision to make, and you’re already exhausted, you should sleep on it.
You’ll come to the right decision easier. Both your conscious mind and your unconscious one will have had time to mull the whole situation over so you can make the best choice.
Your memory suffers
Do you have an important meeting to attend in the morning or a crucial presentation to deliver in the afternoon?
Get plenty of sleep and bring your A-game.
When you don’t get enough sleep, the memory suffers. All those important facts and key benefits you were supposed to highlight could well desert you on the day.
You’ll be sharper and able to recall all those magnificent details that could help you seal the deal easier. When curve-ball questions materialise, you’ll be able to answer them confidently and smash them out of the park.
Your health becomes at risk
Sleeping poorly each night paves the way, potentially, for serious medical conditions.
The NHS warns that if you don’t sleep enough, you could be setting yourself up for obesity, heart problems, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
This is because the lack of sleep brings about changes in how the body processes glucose, which we need for energy; in the levels of chemicals that can have an impact on our weight; a higher heart rate; and a general extra strain on the heart itself.
The frightening overall outcome? A shorter life expectancy.
Readdressing the balance
It’s a sobering thought, but the good news is, you can take steps to re-address the balance by making up for lost sleep.
The NHS recommends starting off by sleeping for an extra hour or two at the weekend. The service gives you a golden opportunity to switch off your alarm with this tip: go to bed when you’re tired and leave it to your body to wake you up.
Don’t be surprised to be sleeping more than 10 hours each night, initially. As you start to catch up on your sleep, the time you sleep will return to a normal duration.
Avoid guzzling energy drinks. All those sugar hits will give you a short-term boost in concentration and energy, but in the long term the habit will disrupt your sleep patterns. You might even be worse off than when you started.
Now you know the importance of sleep for success, it’s time to act.
Get your head down for those precious few extra hours.
Enter your workplace ready to take on the world.
Ready to be the best.