We live in a world in which sleep deprivation is considered closely connected to success – if you’re good at what you do, you simply don’t have the luxury to sleep more than a couple of hours per night. The same goes for all successful people: doctors, lawyers, politicians, soldiers, celebrities… The list is almost endless. But we’ve got some shocking news – it’s NOT normal to be sleep-deprived, and you don’t have to be. Let’s start at the beginning…
These days, almost anyone wakes up tired and sleepy, starts their day with a huge cup of coffee to kick-start their morning and barely gets through their daily routine because of extreme exhaustion that follows them around all day long. Everywhere you look, people are walking around looking like zombies – so you think to yourself “Hey, this must be normal!” Well it’s not. And it shouldn’t be. And the fact is that you would be a much better and more successful version of you if you simply got a couple of extra hours of sleep.
But how, when so many successful career paths are associated with little to no sleep? Navy SEAL trainees are forced to go through something called “Hell Week” in which they are subjected to nearly six days without sleep. For doctors, shifts that last between 36 and 48 hours are an everyday thing. Lawyers often work crazy hours as well, while CEOs of big companies can hardly afford to close their eyes – their competition never rests.
So what does this mean? Can you even be successful without missing out on your sleep? It turns out that you can be – in fact, you might be even more successful BECAUSE you’re getting enough sleep. Many professionals who have tried to maintain a healthy sleep schedule with at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep each night have found that their performance has improved dramatically. Can you imagine that all it takes is a simple change of sleep patterns?
What happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep? It’s more likely you’ll experience hormonal dysregulation, your risks for developing depression, various mood disorders and a number of other mental illnesses rises greatly, you’re more open to chronic inflammation, you’ll likely experience weight gain and muscle loss, your memory will worsen and your cognitive performance will decrease significantly.
And the good news? All you have to do to turn your luck around and improve the quality of your life is get some more sleep. Don’t buy into the myth that high performers don’t sleep more than a couple of hours a night. Sure, many don’t – but that’s not what makes them high performers. The truth is that they would probably be a whole lot more successful if they only spent a couple of extra hours in bed – not to mention the fact that they would also feel better and do something great for their overall health.
Are you still not completely convinced? You don’t have to be – but we dare you to try a simple challenge. It will only take a week of your time and it could end up having a significant effect on the rest of your life. It’s really simple: sleep as much as you can for a week. That means going to bed early and sleeping not until the alarm clock wakes you up, but until your body wakes you up. If you get sleepy during the day, take another nap. Do whatever it takes to get all the sleep that you can – and observe the difference in your well-being and your performance.
Even just one night of uninterrupted sleep will probably make you feel a lot better, but after a couple of days, you’ll have more energy, you’ll be more creative, your thoughts will be faster and you’ll be better at solving problems. Aren’t these just the things you need to succeed in life? Give it a try, you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose – and a whole lot to gain! Good night!