What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You!
In fact, it can be dramatically reducing your productivity, happiness, and creativity.
A few weeks ago, I delivered the Keynote Address to over 300 people at the Annual National Conference of an international organisation. Afterwards, I was pleased by the number of people who came up to congratulate me and wanted to work with me further because it means that I did a great job… BUT I was disturbed by the realization of how business and performance stress is impacting people’s health and happiness and preventing them from relaxing and getting the sleep they need.
We all need sleep to function effectively and we know that, but the proportion of people who are using medications or natural remedies to help them sleep is rising each year and the data suggests that it is now over 61%… And that doesn’t include the people who simply put up with insomnia.
The problem is that when you are deprived of sleep (especially if that deprivation is ongoing) your health suffers, your concentration suffers, and your productivity nosedives. Yes, you’ve heard of people like Thomas Jefferson and the Duke of Wellington who slept only 3-5 hours per night, but what we don’t know is how much more they might have accomplished if they had had more sleep. In any case, for the rest of us, lack of sleep is one of the biggest productivity vampires.
Possibly you think that there is nothing you can do about it. Here are some common actions that people take to help them deal with sleep difficulties and deprivation:
- Sleeping tablets;
- Herbal teas and sleeping concoctions;
- Yoga or meditation before bed;
- Hot showers or baths;
- Turning off devices and screens and avoiding conflict 30 minutes before bed;
- CPAP machines;
… and many other similar strategies. These help some people, but not others and they rarely resolve the underlying problem which is directly responsible for lack of productivity.