We are often tempted to think that sleep is a loss of time. That in the worst case scenario, we will catch up our lack of sleep later, and that sleep is for “lazy” people. I admit, I was convinced that was true for years. It took exactly 32 years for me to understand I was wrong!
Unfortunately, I discovered the truth the hard way. I am 33 years old, I have two boys (4 and 1.5 years old) and I am hustling everyday to build and grow the second company I co-created 2 years ago. My wife has also a full time job with responsibilities and the stress that comes with it. We constantly have to organize and synchronize our schedule to best manage our busy lives. Every parent knows that raising young kids is a really tiring period in a life.
At some point last year, I ended up constantly exhausted everyday and it last during 6 long months.
At the beginning of this crisis, I believed that I needed to relax more and that if I did relax, I will stress less and feel better. Therefore, I tried to go out more with my friends. But, I ended up being worse, even more tired. As, I felt really bad, always exhausted, I tried the exact opposite, I started a “sleep” cure, which consisted for me to sleep as much as possible. It means mostly going to bed early (around 8-9pm after my kids) and after a couple of weeks, I started to feel better, a lot better.
We all have a busy life, we have kids, hobbies, jobs. Sacrificing a bit of sleep can be tempting to decrease a bit more the length of our endless Todo-lists. But science and experience taught me it was absolutely not a good idea.
Today, I truly think that sleep should be “non-negotiable” in any agenda and that it can affect productivity and happiness in life.
What risks do we encounter if we do not sleep.
To operate optimally, researches showed that 90 percent of the human population needs somewhere between seven to nine hours a night.
The insidious effects of sleep loss are well documented. Research confirms that a lack of sleep impacts the body on a systematic level, disrupting everything from our metabolism to our immune system. Sleep loss has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, reduced fertility, mood disorders, depression, learning and memory problems and cancer.
Sleep deprivation is one of the most expensive problems for the world right now
I noticed that I needed around 7,5 hours of sleep every night to feel alive and positive the next day. If I don’t sleep enough, I end up with absolutely no energy, no envy at all and I feel bad constantly. Since I understood the importance of sleep, I really appreciate feeling positive about everything, either it is personal or either professional matters.
Of course, sleeping more has a price: I don’t go out anymore. Parties and afterworks are no longer in my agenda. I go to bed everyday between 9:00pm and 10:30pm. I also reduced my alcohol consumption before bedtime (no more drinks before dinner) and I swear I don’t regret at all those efforts.
My quality life is much better and I can now focus entirely on my work and projects.
Unfortunately, nobody can train itself to need less sleep.
Would you rather have 15-16 hours of energized and productive wakefulness or 18-19 hours of wakefulness with a poor mood and low energy levels? Think about it.
Encourage your teammate to respect their sleep. Who knows? You might notice an improvement in your project’s productivity.