Senior Executives Pinpoint Sleep as Their Top Priority for Productivity
This article profiles three top CEOs, Sheryl Sandberg, Ariana Huffington, and Jeff Bezos and shows why they prioritize sleep in their busy schedules. It shows how they use sleep to improve decision making, avoid health problems, and even get better results from employees.
We all have the cliché view of the CEO putting in more hours than anyone else at the company, struggling and making personal sacrifices so that their business can flourish. While this can be true in some cases, it seems that the vast majority of CEOs refuse to sacrifice one thing that truly matters: sleep. That’s right, a new study shows that senior executives prioritize better sleep so that they can keep their productivity high. From Sheryl Sandberg to Jeff Bezos to Arianna Huffington, these go-getters make sure that the building blocks of their empires start with better sleep.
Arianna Huffington Wakes up to the Better Sleep Revolution
Arianna Huffington created the media empire, The Huffington Post, while struggling with insomnia. It wasn’t until a myriad of health problems and a nervous breakdown caused her to seek out the help she needed — which just happened to be better sleep. Huffington says that this attitude toward sleep as a luxury actually hurts a business’ productivity, and creates a toxic attitude toward work.
“The irony is that a lot of people forego sleep in the name of productivity,” Huffington said in a recent interview. “But in fact our productivity is reduced substantially when we’re sleep deprived.”
Huffington sees hope on the horizon though, with colleges and businesses emphasizing better sleep as a means to get the results they want. She credits breakthrough studies in human behavior and physiology for the sleep revolution taking over America.
“The good news is that there’s a much greater awareness about the risks of sleep deprivation and the importance of sleep,” said Huffington. “We are seeing a huge response from millennials and people in the workplace.”
Sheryl Sandberg Believes that Sleep is for Everyone, Not Just For The CEO
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, believes that companies not only need to prioritize better sleep practices for its CEOs, but also for the average worker. This will increase worker productivity, happiness, and a general sense of good nature toward the company. She has pushed for sleepers’ rights at Facebook ever since awakening to the idea while raising children and working full time at the tech giant. These forces conspired to create a huge sleep debt that left her reeling, and made her empathize with her employees.
“It’s incumbent upon all of us who run companies, and all of us, to make sure that people can make ends meet and have the ability to get a good night’s sleep,” says Sandberg in a recent interview. “So many people out there, so many single mothers and others, work multiple jobs, and we don’t have the safety net we need for people to make sure that they can take care of their own health, and that we help take care of them.”
Jeff Bezos Sees His Decision Making Improve With Better Sleep
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, sees better sleep as a simple decision that makes all his other decisions easier. With the advent of studies that show “the CEO skills” of the brain improve after eight hours of sleep, Bezos felt that it was important to always prioritize better sleep rather than stay up late making poor decisions.
“When you’re talking about decisions and interactions, quality is usually more important than quantity,” he said in a recent interview. “Making a small number of key decisions well is more important than making a large number of decisions. If you shortchange your sleep, you might get a couple of extra ‘productive’ hours, but that productivity might be an illusion.”
So there you have it, when building your empire it’s always important to start with a good night’s sleep. It’s going to leave you refreshed, excited, and ready to make those decisions that will put you in the best position to lead your field — no matter what.
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