There is a common assumption that successful leaders achieved their success through working long hours, often sacrificing sleep.

In other words, going to sleep late and working hard equates to success, right?

This is a wrong assumption that you might be holding on to. There is a big relationship between regular sleep and effective leadership.

Why You Need More Sleep As A Leader

Sleep enhances result oriented operations: You need to avoid distractions and focus on ensuring your company is heading towards the planned direction. Your ability to focus is impaired by insufficient sleep.

According to research, staying awake for 17 or more hours will make you perform tasks like someone whose blood alcohol level is 0.05%.

Staying awake for 20 hours will make you perform tasks like someone whose alcohol level is at 0.1%.

You need attention and concentration to steer your team to success.

Problem Solving

Sleep is very important in enhancing your cognitive skills, which are crucial in solving problems. These include pattern recognition and insight. It also helps you to come up with creative and innovative ways of problem solving.

People who sleep well are most likely able to come up with new ways of solving a problem. And don’t take my word for it, this has been shown by research. In fact, even a simple nap can make all the difference.

When you sleep, creative thinking takes place. This links information, thus giving you creative solutions.

Team Support

You need to understand people in order to help them. To understand them, you need to interpret the emotions displayed on their face and be able to interpret the tone of their voice.

When you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to misinterpret these signs.

Consequently, this might cause you to overreact in certain circumstances, and express your feelings in a harsh and negative tone. You will also find it hard to trust someone else.

According to Harvard Business Review, when a leader has inadequate sleep, the employees are likely to be less engaged in their work.

This may lead to a negative impact on the job, including lack of job satisfaction, a decline in performance, and even opting to quit.

The Way Forward

Leaders need to ensure that they and their team are getting not only efficient sleep, but also quality sleep.

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This can be promoted in the following ways:

  • Introducing napping rooms and pods: It’s possible to mis characterize a sleeping team member, but a 10 to 30 minute nap can tremendously increase performance and alertness. Why not have a special room reserved for naps?
  • Introducing smart technology: You can supply or inform your employees about tools meant to improve sleep management. F- Lux is just one example. It minimizes your computer’s blue light which has been proven to affect sleep. Why not use such a tool yourself?
  • Predictable time off (PTO): A good way to catch up on lost sleep is by introducing a planned night off where you have no smartphone, no emails, and no work.
  • Work time limits: Introduce specific hour limits after which work is no longer allowed. That ensures you have sufficient time to rest and re energize for the next day.
  • Mandatory work-free vacations: Getting away from work will help you to disconnect and rest. By doing so, you will be able to catch up on any lost sleep and have the energy to face any new challenges.

Influence

Sleep deprivation can lead to a high burnout and low engagement in your work life. Lack of sleep can cause you to make a big mistake while making decisions due to poor judgment.

You can greatly improve your productivity and brain power by ensuring you are having a good night of sleep.

The performance of you as a leader, and your team, is definitely influenced by the quality of sleep you get.

How Much Sleep Do You Get?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Sarah Jones
Sarah promotes everything sleep at Sleepy Deep, where you can learn to sleep better. Her obsession with sleep came about after realizing she had been sleep deprived for months. Noticing the impact this was having on her life, she put an end to the madness and focused on optimizing sleep. She now benefits from a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night.
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