How does sleep affect ambition?

January 5, 2023

How does sleep affect ambition?

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”—Benjamin Franklin

Throughout the years, there have been many studies on sleep and how it affects learning, leadership, and success. In the Western world, we still see a lot of value placed on giving up sleep for the sake of “productivity” but researchers and some sleep advocates among business leaders are urging us to prioritize getting proper rest if we want sustainable growth and success.

In fact, recent studies showed that lack of sleep affects ambition to “lean in” and “do better” at work, particularly among women. Although sleep and ambition show no correlation among men, probably due to the prevalent difference in societal pressures and gender roles between men and women, it is without a doubt that sleep is important for our health, wealth, learning, and wisdom.

Let’s take a quick look at other research on sleep and why it always comes up in leadership topics:

These are mostly work-related issues tied to lack of sleep, but they also bleed to your personal and family life. Getting a good quantity and quality of shut-eye at the end of the day is crucial to a thriving and fulfilling life.

How can we improve our sleep?

There are many research-backed “hacks” in improving both the length and quality of our sleep, like limiting the intake of some substances before bedtime such as:

Making sure you don’t expose yourself to blue light at night or before bedtime is also a prominent suggestion based on research. If you work the night shift, investing in blackout curtains in your bedroom and sleep masks are practical ways to achieve a good quality of sleep despite the flipped sleeping schedule.

If you live in a noisy neighborhood, some earplugs or noise-canceling earphones might also benefit your sleep.

For people who have sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea, seeking professional treatment is recommended.

But at the core of it is addressing our mindset regarding sleep and productivity. Some people wear their work-related sleep deprivation and working long hours as a badge of honor.

Bosses who promote a culture that shuns sleep and proper boundaries while rewarding overwork can lead to many issues in the workplace that will eventually affect performance and overall productivity. The organization might notice an increase in sick leaves and absenteeism, more disengaged workers, and low morale at work that affects collaboration and team and individual performance.

If you want a culture of healthy and sustainable productivity in your business, it has to start with you. You need to model the behavior you want your people to follow.

Sleep well, prioritize your health, and lead better. Thanks for reading “A Brilliant Tribe.”