Less than five consecutive hours of sleep most night. Working longer hours, juggling work, friends, working out. Does this sound like your life?
Research has shown that people who get five hours or less of sleep for a few nights in a row have the equivalent of a 0.1 blood alcohol level, meaning you basically walk around tipsy all day. You could also have had a few glasses of wine every morning! Not really what you need to be focused and productive, huh?
Being tired does not only make you less productive, you will also be far more likely to forget things and make mistakes. Maybe you will upset your boss by making an error, your friends because you forgot their vernissage, or your mum because you forgot her birthday. You have probably already had this experience of really needing to be on top of your game but left unable to do so after a short night of sleep.
Sleep deprivation will not only affect your performance at work, it can also have negative effects on your health. Research shows that people who don’t sleep enough are more likely to get sick and burn out. It also makes you age so fast, that no amount of Crème de la Mer will help. Even Arianna Huffington said so!
Having a successful career whilst maintaining a good work-life balance (which means getting enough sleep, meeting friends for dinner and working out) can sometimes sound impossible. Everyone sets their own priorities and decides what is important but sleep should definitely be on top of your list. Enough sleep will strengthen your so-called “working memory capacity”, the memory that is associated with problem solving, decision-making and vocabulary. It will also reduce your stress-level, helping you to be more relaxed and patient.
So, even though we all want to live our dreams, there is also a lot to be said for having some during the night.