Wake up sleepy head!” “Get up from your slumber and pay attention to what I am saying!”
These statements are commonly spoken and they usually are not very complimentary. If this is uttered in class or at workplace you can be sure that it’s bound to leave the recipient red faced and embarrassed.
It’s funny how sleep is associated with laziness or unproductivity, on the contrary it’s one of most vital things for a human being and most essential for high productivity.
People often brag about their ability to run on very limited sleep, but the consequences of such irresponsibility can be huge.
Tom Rath in his book Are You Fully Charged categorically states “that one hour of less sleep is not equal to an hour of achievement or enjoyment” in fact the exact opposite happens, if you sleep one hour less than what is required, you will be robbed of your good health and your ability to think productively.
Research conclusively proves that the great differentiator between the top performers and the average ones is, yes you guessed it, adequate sleep.
Top performers get their daily dose of eight hours or more sleep, while the average ones get about six hours.
Students who think that they need to cut back on their sleep to study for exams or executives who burn the midnight oil to add the final touch to their presentations are actually heading for trouble, because their productivity would be deeply compromised the next day.
Rath mentions about studies that reveal how losing ninety minutes of sleep can reduce your alertness by almost one third.
Now if you total up all the unproductive man hours wasted in this way, it would cost the nation several crores.
There is so much negative publicity on drunken driving, with the authorities coming down heavily on the perpetrators, but do you know that driving without adequate sleep is equally or sometimes more dangerous.
Rath’s book talks about a scientist who had done extensive study in this field, and some of the revelations are shocking.
Did you for instance know that four hours loss of sleep produces the same impairment as having a six pack of beer or that an entire night of sleeplessness is equivalent to a blood alcohol of 0.19 per cent? Which is more than legal limits for driving.
So if you want to earn more, learn more and achieve more you have to get your eight plus hours of sleep.
Remember you can never catch up on lost sleep, what’s lost is lost for ever. So every day your quota has to be achieved. To quote Jim Butcher “Sleep is God, go worship.”
R A Nadesan is an executive coach, behavioural and soft skills trainer with a pan India presence. He can be reached at email@example.com