Many entrepreneurs work around the clock, sacrificing sleep to meet deadlines or finish proposals.
Some even believe tiredness demonstrates their commitment to their business, said Marie-Josée Shaar, author, founder and owner of Smarts and Stamina, a Raleigh company that offers wellness speeches and workshops, and continuing education for coaches and wellness professionals.
“When I hear someone brag about their sleep deprivation, I don’t conclude that they are busy, needed and successful,” Shaar said. “What I really think is that they are temporarily and reversibly mentally impaired, but too groggy to realize it.”
Here are Shaar’s edited comments on the importance of sleep.
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Each night, most adults need between seven-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half hours of sleep, which helps the body perform a number of important physical and mental functions.
Sleep increases serotonin, the neurotransmitter that facilitates self-discipline, and increases dopamine, which makes us feel more energetic, capable and motivated to persevere when facing difficulties, Shaar said.
Enough sleep leads to a decrease in cortisol, a stress hormone that can make business owners feel impatient and irritable, cause insomnia and high-sugar, high-fat food cravings.
The brain uses sleep time to consolidate the day’s learning and memories. Sleep adequacy also impacts decision-making as it increases the ability to receive, process and act on information, Shaar said.
Those who are pulling all-nighters for the sake of important deadlines should consider taking a nap.
A 45-minute nap can give as much as an extra six hours of productive time, said Dr. William Dement, author of “The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night’s Sleep.”