• Martha Lewis

Don’t let lack of sleep make you an unproductive, recklessly gambling, a-hole boss!

Updated: Jun 3

You will be more successful in your business, in your work and in your life when you get the sleep your body craves. This week I'm specifically talking about the importance of sleep for being a great leader.

“The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution. One of the most common ways people—especially ambitious, successful people—damage this asset is through a lack of sleep.”-Greg McKeown in Essentialism

What characteristics make a great leader?

Here are some of the qualities that come to my mind when I think of a great leader:

  • being empathetic

  • thinking clearly

  • being able to prioritize

  • making good decisions

  • communicating well

  • being positive

  • being productive

What’s crazy is that these inspiring leadership traits mysteriously disappear when you don't get enough sleep.

For example, studies find that people are much less empathetic when they are sleep deprived. Lack of sleep turns off the emotional parts of the brain so it literally makes it harder to see how other people might be feeling. There goes your emotional intelligence down the workplace drain.

Of course you know it's much harder to think clearly, stay focused and concentrate when you haven't slept well. You might think that’s not a big deal, but a recent study found that people are three times more likely to experience lapses in concentration and twice as likely to make placekeeping errors” when they’re sleep deprived. Day after day of being less efficient will make a woolly mammoth dent in your productivity over time and you can’t blame that on your mini-me’s.

Communicating well is key when you’re leading a team. According to the Harvard Business Review, managers and bosses who don't get enough sleep are more impatient, irritable and abusive which of course is going to create a really dysfunctional work environment. Scenes from The Office come to mind?

Sleep is important for being positive and making good decisions as well. A gambling study compared people getting 5 hours of sleep a night versus 8 hours of sleep a night for a week. Twice a day the participants in the study were asked to choose between taking a certain amount of money or gambling the money for a higher amount with a possibility of losing it all. At the beginning of the week, lack of sleep didn't seem to make a difference in their decisions. But as those sleep-deprived nights added up toward the end of the week, the sleep-deprived participants started making riskier and riskier decisions. The scariest part to me is that they didn't even realize that they were making different decisions than they were when they weren't as tired. If you’re in any type of leadership position, you want to be making really smart, quick and good decisions and getting a good night’s sleep will ensure you do just that.

I could list a hundred more reasons why getting the sleep you need will help you be a better leader but I don’t want you to bore you to sleep (or do I?). To add a few more motivational points, sleeping well will also help you learn new tasks, stay motivated and keep a positive attitude all of which will improve your leadership skills.

Don’t let lack of sleep make you an unproductive, recklessly gambling, a-hole boss!

If insomnia is keeping you from being a great leader and achieving the success you want, let’s fix it! Get in touch so we can talk about why you aren’t sleeping and what you can do about it.

Because I believe that you are meant to sleep well and do great things.

Book your call here!

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