Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Importance of Sleep

I think many CEO's have a dysfunctional relationship with sleep - mostly caused by travel and some by work load. In my first Time Management book, (written when I was younger of course), I had a short section that essentially said "sleep is for wimps". I am going to rewrite that section. I no longer believe that.

Recently I have been reading about the effects of sleep deprivation. There is a great but scary article at CBS news that explains the science of sleep. It talks about lower brain function when even mild sleep deprivation happens. And high brain function is another thing I value highly.

One thing I pride myself in is my ability to learn and grow. I am modifying my view on sleep. I still believe many people sleep too much but I am modifying my personal acceptable sleep to 6 to 7 1/2 hours per night. I am going to see if I can set aside a month on this much sleep. I know this is not the first time I have blogged about sleep. Check out this.

Of course its easy to say but I need to plan better. Tonight I fly the red-eye on which is difficult to get more than about 3 hours of sleep and I have a fairly full day tomorrow - not ending until late tomorrow night (I am at a Raptor's game courtesy of a vendor).

3 Comments:

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Alex Revai said...

Hello Jim,



You may remember, I disagreed with you on this aphorism of yours from the first time you mentioned it to me. I’m glad you have matured and that you are changing your view on this matter. Without much scientific backing, I submit to you that the amount of sleep we need is very different for every individual.



In my opinion setting a goal of 6 or 7 hours is just as mistaken as the “wimp” idea. Now, you may decide that that’s how much you will sleep, or it may be that that’s all your work/life load will allow for. Yet, your body still needs what it needs. And, the latter may only be 5 hours or it may be 8 hours (on a regular basis). Your body, it seems, just doesn’t “get used to” sleeping only this or that many hours. Actually, while in the military service (in Hungary), some 40 odd years ago, I hardly slept more than 5-6 hours a night, for over a year. Do you think I got used to it? Never! Did I get “through” with being sleep deprived? Yes, of course. I was 18 years old. Oh, I almost forgot to share with you: in the Hungarian military the DAY consists of 24 hours…and then, you still have the whole NIGHT. J



The reality is that one functions best (both professionally and on a human level) by regularly sleeping one’s “natural” sleeping hours.



Good Night,

Alex

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled on this blog from the article mentioned in the G&M and find it fascinating given the diverse and challenging topics - a true blog that represents Jim's musings of the moment - thanks for the reminder of what blog really is about. I'm off to figure out how to get my 71/2 hours of sleep. Cheers

SLB

 
At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Alex Revai said...

Hello Jim,

"Sleep is for wimps". You may remember, I disagreed with you on this aphorism of yours from the first time you mentioned it to me. I’m glad you have matured and that you are changing your view on this matter. Without much scientific backing, I submit to you that the amount of sleep we need is very different for every individual.

In my opinion setting a goal of 6 or 7 hours maybe just as mistaken as the “wimp” idea. Now, you may decide that that’s how much you will sleep, or it may be that that’s all your work/life load will allow for. Yet, your body still needs what it needs. And, the latter may only be 5 hours or it may be 8 hours (on a regular basis). Your body, it seems, just doesn’t “get used to” sleeping only this or that many hours.

Actually, while in the military service (in Hungary), some 40 odd years ago, I hardly slept more than 5-6 hours a night, for over a year. Do you think I got used to it? Never! Did I get “through” with being sleep deprived? Yes, of course. I was 18 years old. Oh, I almost forgot to share with you: in the Hungarian military the DAY consists of 24 hours…and then, you still have the whole NIGHT. ;)

The reality is that one functions best (both professionally and on a human level) by regularly sleeping one’s “natural” sleeping hours.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home