“Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious.”
Are you interested?
The evidence supporting these claims is documented in more than 17,000 well-scrutinized scientific reports to date.
You may have to change your habits. Or you may already enjoy these benefits and don’t realize it.
In Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, he shares the benefits of sleep. Why is it so important to our health and well-being? How it can help us perform better. What are the consequences of not sleeping enough?
A Good Night’s Sleep
When was the last time you woke up in the morning having a dream and awakened refreshed, alert?
The last 2 hours of sleep are when the most restorative benefits arrive through REM sleep. Walker recommends 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’re sleeping less than 7 hours, you’re robbing your body of energy, and you’re not performing at your optimum level each day by missing these last two hours.
Sleep’s benefits are not a new discovery. Walker points out “twenty-first-century discoveries regarding sleep were delightfully summarized in 1611 in Macbeth, act two, scene two, where Shakespeare prophetically states that sleep is ‘the chief nourisher in life’s feast.’”
Sleeping well helps you learn better! Before learning (up to 20%), and after learning 20-40%. Experimental results by two German scientists in 1924 suggest sleeping improves your ability to retain what you learn.
Question the value of sleep? Compare yourself with the athletes Matthew Walker discusses in this short 3:38 video on Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, and LeBron James:
Sleep Deprivation Consequences
Sleep, in our jobs, is more important than for an athlete. They perform for a few hours and have plenty of restorative time after and between. We often work 10, 12 hours or more, and fail to get the nourishment of a good night’s rest.
People who are sleep-deprived (as much as 19 hours) are as cognitively impaired as those who are legally drunk. If you wake up at seven a.m. and remain awake throughout the day, then socialize with friends, yet drink no alcohol whatsoever, by the time you are driving home at two a.m. you are as cognitively impaired in your ability to drive as a legally drunk driver. Participants in the study (see graph) started their nosedive in performance after just fifteen hours of being awake (ten p.m. in this scenario).
Operating on less than five hours of sleep, your risk of a car crash increases threefold.
Each hour of sleep lost vastly amplifies that crash likelihood, rather than incrementally nudging it up.
Driving Sleep Deprived is as bad as Driving Drunk.
Worse yet, the human mind cannot accurately sense how sleep-deprived it is when sleep deprived. Walker points out that more than 2 million people in the US will fall asleep while driving their vehicles. That’s more than 250,000 each day. Walker shares why sleep deprivation is worse than drunk driving, “drunk drivers are often late in braking and late in making evasive maneuvers. But when you fall asleep or have a microsleep, you stop reacting altogether.”
Here are Walkers' Twelve Tips for Healthy Sleep*
- Stick to a sleep schedule.
- Exercise is great, but not too late in the day.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
- Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
- If possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep.
- Don’t take naps after 3 p.m.
- Relax before bed.
- Take a hot bath before bed.
- Dark bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget-free bedroom.
- Have the right sunlight exposure.
- Don’t lie in bed awake.
Download the complete details for each of Twelve Tips for Healthy Sleep*.
Take 9 minutes to watch this short synopsis of the book:
You’ll learn what happens by staying up too late. You’ll discover why losing the last couple of hours of REM sleep impacts your memory, creativity, and the emotional therapy sleep provides. You also learn two critical factors to give you deep healthy sleep.
Since we now have the technology to determine how well we sleep, Walker suggests providing financial bonuses for those who sleep well, since they’ll be more productive. He recommends added vacation time rather than a payment.
Insurance giant Aetna, (fifty thousand employees) instituted the option of bonuses for getting more sleep, based on verified sleep-tracker data. Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini, “Being present in the workplace and making better decisions have a lot to do with our business fundamentals. You can’t be prepared if you’re half asleep.”
If workers string together twenty-seven-hour nights of sleep or more in a row, they receive a twenty-five-dollar-per-night bonus, for a (capped) total of five hundred dollars.
To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact us today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.
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Discipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.
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NEXT BLOG – Doors
Several years ago a customer shared, “In our mind we are like a captive, sitting in a swivel chair in a circular room. Surrounding us are many doors, each of those doors demands our attention and focus. We allow all or several of these doors to remain open, robbing our attention from the person or project we are working on.” Next blog closing those doors to focus on One Thing.