At one of my workshops last year, the conversation came up about how much sleep we were all getting. Unfortunately everyone reported that they rarely had a good night’s sleep ie at least 6 hours. Even if they had decided to go to bed early, they still woke a few times. Some only managed to get a few hours most nights.
There could be a lot of reasons for these responses however, it prompted me to do my own research as I confess I am sometimes am a “night owl”. Below I have noted some of the responses received from friends and colleagues who I questioned:
“I just have to stay up to finish my work because I just don’t get enough done during the day”
“The expectation in my office is that you stay until the work is finished – hence there is a lot of coffee drunk until 9 or 10pm and then I just have to go home in a bit of a daze”
“I like the solitude at night because the phones don’t ring and no-one interrupts me”
“I am always very busy and often don’t sleep much at all. Last Friday I stayed out until 3am and then had to front up for a meeting on Saturday morning. I didn’t even get 1 hours sleep! I just don’t know how I am going to function for the rest of next week”
The response which has made a major impact on myself was from a thought leader who did go to bed at around 10pm most week nights. It took him a while to change his biological clock however it did eventually enable him to rest soundly and awake at 5am, when he did his most productive and creative work. Feeling pleased with his accomplishments during these early morning hours, meant that for the rest of his day he was able to handle any unexpected challenges and also enjoy more family time.
So what are your sleep patterns like? Are you feeling refreshed and revitalised when you awake?
If you would like to research this further, I suggest you read a brilliant article recently published in a McKinsey Quarterly Report Feb 16:
By Nick van Dam and Els van der Helm
Be warned, this article is sure to keep you up a little longer tonight! Sweet dreams!
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