Proper sleep is an important factor in success
When you look at the world-famous business leaders and entrepreneurs, you may think that they don’t sleep at all, because being a leader requires a lot of work. However, the latest studies show that sleep deprivation along with irregular schedule can actually hurt your leadership qualities or even end your business. If you want to avoid that, you need to learn about these five leadership qualities that depend on sleep.
1. Sleep Helps You Control Your Emotions
A good leader should be able to put emotions away when it’s necessary.
Business negotiations usually require you to keep a cool head and be rational while staying true to the mission of your team or company.
Now, emotion control can be significantly damaged by sleep deprivation.
A study by Iowa University shows that lack of sleep is linked to emotional instability and anger tantrums. Researchers found that people who got less than the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep per night reported more anger episodes and overall negative emotions than the participants with a regular sleep schedule.
Thus, whether you have an important meeting with your business partner or just a regular brainstorming session with your team, don’t sacrifice proper shut-eye the night before.
“Besides taking a toll on your emotional stability, sleep deprivation can also adversely impact your health. Chronic sleep deficiency is a risk factor for obesity, hormonal disruptions, heart disease, and depression.”
2. Sleep Sharpens Your Decision-Making Behavior
Making balanced decisions is another quality of a good leader. But to perform well in this regard, you need a high level of cognitive flexibility — that is, the ability to change your thinking based on the new information you obtain. Lack of sleep can easily impair that flexibility because, again, you will more likely rely on your emotion rather than on strategic thinking.
That’s not all!
One study found that people with disrupted sleep schedule are prone to making more risky decisions without even realizing that. Although the research was conducted on young men, scientists believe that they can scale it on larger and more diverse groups and get similar results.
That’s why in order to not harm your business development but build the right strategy of the company growth, pay attention to your sleep needs.
3. Sleep Makes You More Socially Flexible
A person that represents the company at meetings and negotiations needs to be charismatic.
People who attract others and make you listen in awe usually are perceived as the most appealing leaders, not only by their team but also by their competitors.
But what is the key to ultimate charisma? The ability to read and interpret social cues, such as:
- gestures and body language
- voice tone
These non-verbal signs usually tell way more information than you can get from words.
The thing is, studies show that sleep deprivation may be the killer of your social performance.
That’s because well-rested individuals tend to rate sleep-deprived people as less appealing and desirable for social interactions. Moreover, lack of sleep often contributes to antagonizing behavior. That is, you may become more sensitive to criticism and judgment, which may disrupt healthy relationships in your team and make your colleagues and employees less motivated.
So, to keep a strong bond with your employees and set a motivational example for them, don’t neglect getting proper sleep.
“Creating sleep-friendly conditions at the office — for example, by building nap rooms or adjusting the work schedule to the sleep needs of your employees — may contribute to the healthy environment at work.”
4. Sleep Boosts Your Creativity
You live in an era of competition. The market is flourishing with new businesses, and the only way to stand out is to do things that will make you noticeable in this storming sea. That’s why a leader should plan ahead and sometimes choose to go the non-traditional, creative way to succeed. And getting good sleep is actually one of the best ways to pump up your creative thinking.
See for yourself:
Our average sleep cycle has two main stages, and one of them is REM (Rapid Eye Movement). During this stage, your brain activity increases while the rest of the body remains totally relaxed. Numerous studies agree that REM sleep contributes to the following cognitive abilities:
- memory formation and consolidation
- information processing
- and — as a result of the two points above — creative thinking
So, for a creative idea to be born, you don’t need to strain your brain. Just let it wander while you do your usual evening rituals, and go get some sleep. And don’t be surprised if you suddenly catch the “eureka” moment while brushing your teeth in the morning.
5. Sleep Increases Your Cognitive Functions
There are many ways to stay focused and avoid distraction during work, but they’re not that useful if you’re sleep-deprived.
Studies show that staying awake for 17-19 hours may decrease your concentration and overall performance to the level of an individual with 0.05% of alcohol in the blood. Which actually is a legal drinking limit in most states.
This means that:
- your thoughts will be slower and less consistent;
- you won’t be able to see things from different perspectives;
- your result-oriented thinking will suffer.
Of course, you can remember that Thomas Edison and Leonardo da Vinci notoriously functioned on very little sleep and were two of the world’s greatest inventors. But, let’s be honest: They are more of an exception than the rule. And the rule is, most adults do need 7-8 hours of sleep to function correctly.
So, put some effort into creating a consistent sleep routine and build your way to success by following it. You will thank yourself later.