There was an interesting article in the Huffington Post the other day which was an interview with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marriott-ceo-)
It was a plea to people not to idolise those business leaders who say they function off just a few hours’ sleep a night. He said it had become glorified as demonstrating some kind of toughness but he added it was something they were trying to rectify within the hotels.
I have to say I am not a good sleeper. On average I will manage about five hours a night, six maximum, and no I am not proud of it. The problem I have is that I am trying to pack so much into my day that I am often working late into the night and then I get up early either to go to the stables, or to go to work.
The situation is slightly better at the weekend when I normally get about seven hours sleep. But even when I am sleeping I am often replaying the day I have just experienced or am thinking through the day that I have ahead.
We are now starting to recognise the importance of sleep and the benefits it brings. I personally know that when I have had a good night sleep I am more focused at work, I can make better decisions and I have increased resilience. If we run on empty for much of the day or week then we have no reserves for when we need them.
So, what do we need to do? One of the key things is to get a balance in all the elements that make up your life. Ensure you are spending time on the things that are most important to you. Perhaps we have to accept that we can’t do everything we want to, or we have to prioritise things. (Although, I am not prepared to do this at the moment.) And we definitely need to change our attitude towards sleep, and to see it as an important part of the day.
For me, I get the message and I understand the value of a good night of sleep. But I can’t say I am prepared to invest in sleep when I have too many things I am enjoying doing during my waking hours!