Are you on the spree to earn, earn, and earn some more to build up a good account balance and enjoy all of life’s luxuries while suffering from lack of sleep? Well, believe it or not, we have all been bitten by the consumer bug, where we essentially work to earn more money so that we can afford the latest iPhone, the most luxurious car, and to park that car in the most royal and majestic villa.
What’s more, to pursue those larger-than-life dreams, we often stretch ourselves thin, often to the point of undervaluing our health and manipulating our healthy lifestyle. It’s time for a reality check… More often than not, you skip breakfast, ignore the midday hunger pangs that appear between important presentations, binge an extra loaded cheese sandwich to compensate for a healthy lunch, drive straight into a pub after work to unwind the load of a hectic day, return home to gorge on a cold frozen dinner, and head straight to bed when it is already past midnight and you still struggle to sleep!
Yes…this is our ultramodern way of life, where we branch out to broaden the canopy of our career while poisoning our roots to the core and expecting the best results. Simply put, you cannot expect to perform at your peak at work if your body is exhausted and malnourished. While a plethora of modern vitamin and health supplements flooding the market may compensate for vitamin deficiency, there is no substitute for good sleep.
One or two nights of sleep deprivation or lack of sleep may bring you honors at work in the form of a better-framed business strategy for a client or a presentation completed at the expense of precious sleep, but it will ruin your career in the long run! Yes, you read that correctly… Ruin your Career! Why is this so? Because we require adequate sleep to function well daily.
Why Do We Need Enough Sleep to Perform Well?
It may sound cliché to say that you need enough sleep to rebuild and recharge your body cells. So let’s delve a little deeper… and understand the science behind sleep and performance. According to studies and research from the University of Rochester, sleep acts as a cleanser. When we sleep, our brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are byproducts of neural activity when we are awake and our brains are working. Only when we are sleeping and the majority of our nerves are resting can our brain engage in this cleansing activity.
Sleep deprivation would imply missing out on this vital cleansing regimen. When we deprive our bodies of sleep, the brain is unable to drive out or sanitize the nerve cells, severely impairing our thinking and cognitive abilities.
Sleep deprivation kills or impairs many of our brain functions, resulting in the following outcomes:
- It causes increased irritability.
- Affects cognitive thinking
- This causes memory lapses or loss.
- Increased stress wreaks havoc on the immune system.
- Reduces our response time and accuracy
- reduces our ability to concentrate
Not only that, but a lack of sleep over time leads to a sleep disorder known as insomnia. It raises your stress levels, causes anxiety, and makes you emotionally ill. With a deteriorating IQ and EQ worse than that of a child, you begin to feel lost. With so many hiccups, you must have a profound answer to the pressing question of how sleep affects our functioning or, more accurately, productivity. With all of the disadvantages of sleep deprivation listed above, do you believe you can maintain your professional performance and build a successful career? Certainly not!
Confront the Reality About Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation is analogous to slowly dissolving poison that one day takes on a massive form with irreversible loss. You will undoubtedly agree that how you manage your emotions and thoughts has a direct impact on your performance. What if you bring the repercussions of your breakfast table spat with your better half to the conference room? You will not only display unbalanced emotions there, but you may also lose the deal as a result of the squabble you had. If you dig a little deeper, you should be cursing your late-night sleep schedule rather than the quarrel.
High EQ thinkers and performers understand that it is not only the 7-8 hours of sleep that is beneficial to them, but also the quality of sleep that shapes their health, emotions, and, ultimately, their performance and career. Today’s lifestyle includes a variety of factors that reduce or obstruct quality sleep. Some of the sleep deprivation factors that can disrupt your daily rest schedule are as follows:
- Sleeping patterns that are erratic
- Consumption of alcohol and caffeine near bedtime
- Several medications
- Excessive use of electronic devices while sleeping
- Inadequate sleep hygiene
- Incorrect mattress and pillow selection
And There Are Many More…
Even after citing so many justifications, you may be impressed by your coworker’s ability to stay all night and work on a project while also performing reasonably well during the day hours, thus not fully acknowledging everything that has been stated here. But keep in mind that what you see of him is only what he shows to the world; you may be unaware of the underlying issues he is dealing with—poor metabolism, undiscovered health issues, emotional irritability, mood imbalances, and many more.
Take a peek into his daily life and you’ll see how he’s melting quickly by burning the candle at both ends. With a fresh perspective, consider the adage, “Take care of the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves.” Yes, if you take care of your health and get enough sleep, everything else will fall into place—your health, your lifestyle, your emotions, your relationships, your job, and, of course, your stellar performance in the boardroom!