Sleep. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about productivity. After all, the demands on us today are so much more than in the past. Gone are the days when we go home for the day. Today it’s 24/7. We’ve got to so much to do and so little time, so logic dictates that we find the time somewhere.
No one wants to cut their Game of Thrones marathon time down. And heaven forbid we miss a few hours of posting on Instagram or Facebook. Therefore, it only makes sense that we cut corners when it comes to our rest, right? Besides, who needs seven hours of sleep?
In my youth, that’s precisely what I did. I burnt the midnight oil. After my wife went to bed, I’d spend two hours studying a number of different subjects including magic, finance, personal development, marketing and copywriting. I became an amateur magician, created a financial seminar, wrote a book, created websites and so much more. I did get a lot done.
Then I got into productivity. I absorbed everything I could get my hands on – books, lectures, audio programs, DVD training. Imagine my surprise when I learned the damage I, and many others, we’re doing to ourselves in the process of getting ahead.
Brendon Burchard, creator of the excellent “High-Performance Academy”, has spent years studying the science and neuroscience behind productivity. He taught me that to operate at optimum levels, the average person needs seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Eben Pagan reiterated the same concept in his “Wake Up Productive” program.
The benefits of sleep are many. But here are five that you’ll reap should you implement a regiment of seven to eight hours a night.
A Healthier Life
Sleep reduces your chance of having a heart attack and strokes. Sleep also reduces stress which in turn helps to keep your blood pressure down. If that’s not enough, sleep also reduces inflammation which is thought to cause our body to deteriorate as we age. If you want to improve your health, start by getting enough sleep.
A Productive Life
We’re all familiar with the feeling of a good night’s sleep. We feel energized. Compare that to a few hours’ sleep where we feel sluggish and lethargic, unable to focus or concentrate on the tasks at hand. While we sleep our mind processes the day, allowing us to wake up with a clear mind, ready to rock and roll.
A Smarter Life
“Gone for Siesta” signs on the doors of small shops may be inconvenient for tourists and shoppers in Spain and Latin countries, but maybe they’re on to something. Research at the University of California, Berkley has shown that an afternoon nap not only helps restore alertness but also improves neurocognitive functioning to a higher level than before the nap. Not convinced? Consider what happened at the Huffington Post when they created nap rooms for their employees. While being mocked by many other companies and the media, productivity increased. Today Google and other companies are following their lead.
A Stronger Life
We are not robots. Our body and muscles need time to recover from the rigors of daily life. Elite athletes like Roger Federer, Lebron James and Tom Brady understand this better than anyone. One might think that in order to compete at the highest levels of sports athletes need to train more. However, often, it’s just the opposite. They love what they do. They don’t need to do more; they push themselves hard. They need the opposite – to do less. If you want to operate at an elite level, take a page out of the elite athletes’ playbook and give your body the rest it needs.
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