Bernie Anderson
BA blog banner_no text.png

the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Lack of Sleep Is Costing You More Than You Think

Certain things are more essential than others. Perhaps most basic is the need for sleep.

In my younger years, I insisted I could get by on very little sleep. Burn the candle at both ends and sleep when you're dead.

That was a lie I told myself.

And scientifically untrue. Lack of sleep costs us dollars and years of our lives.

According to a study done in Australia last year, inadequate sleep will cost you money personally and affects the entire national GDP - to the tune of billions of dollars.

(Sure. I'm quite certain this study is using Australian dollars, but you get the idea. It's a lot. Read it for yourself.)

A major factor behind heart and artery disease, brain disease, diabetes, and depression is lack of sleep. Not to mention workplace injury and car crashes because we try to do things while excessively tired.

Sleep is not optional. But sleep can be optimized, and every attempt should be made to do so.

Do the math.

Basics. If you don't plan a good night's sleep, it won't happen. If the alarm needs to go off at 6:00 AM to get to work on time, that means the night time wind down should begin early enough to get into sleep mode by 10:00 PM. 11:00 PM at the latest, for an optimal 7-8 hours.

Delete the stimuli.

There've been a lot of studies about screens that keep us awake, so definitely cut screen time for an hour before your predetermined bedtime. But make sure to drop other stimuli like caffeine, excessive exercise, and novels (for some). Definitely stay away from thorny work problems. You won't solve them while sleep deprived. Do what it takes to calm down and unwind.

Darken the room.

It's all about circadian rhythms. Too much light at night, not enough light in the day (for most of us), and we're all out of whack. Some argue we have been since the invention of electricity. (Thank you Thomas Edison. Well, actually - Humphrey Davy. But if Edison took credit for the good of the technology, shouldn't he take the credit for the bad, as well?) Light is relentless. All night. The human body was meant to sleep in the dark, and even though there are those who insist they sleep better with the light on, it can't be backed by science. We sleep more soundly in the dark.

And sound sleep will not only make a difference in your productivity, decision-making capacity, overall job performance, and leadership - sound sleep is necessary for life. Don't skimp on this one.

Sleep is far more important than you may have previously thought.