If you aren’t getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night, you probably aren’t in a senior management position. What? That seems odd, doesn’t it? You’d think that the more senior you are and the more responsibilities you have, the less sleep you’d be getting. But that’s not how it works. And here’s why.
Most of us who are over-achievers and have worked hard to build a career, well, we certainly remember those early years where we slaved and toiled and burned the midnight candle. But, eventually, we realized that sleep deprivation only leads to depression, anxiety and symptoms of paranoia. (Studies indicate sleep deprivation is a main contributor to the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.)
So why do most senior executives end up getting the right amount of sleep per night? Is it just experience or is there something else we learned along the way?
The most likely reason is that as you get older, you gain more wisdom and discipline. You learn to pace yourself, so you can maintain a high level of performance without burning out. You also learn to prioritize and to delegate. You also learn that sleep-deprived colleagues are less engaged and less impactful in the long run. And, you have built into your time-management schedule exercise and other well-being disciplines that make you the most effective executive you can be.
So get some sleep. It’ll do you a world of good.