I watched a video recently by Gary Vaynerchuk where he talked about how many hours a night he sleeps. For the uninitiated, Gary is the founder of Vayner Media, and he also runs a popular vlog called The DailyVee. There he shares tips and strategies on how to be successful and how to get what you want out of life. Anyone who’s seen him in action probably thinks he doesn’t sleep. At all. He talks a mile a minute, and his thoughts seem to flow like a flooding, gushing stream of consciousness. As it turns out, even a guy like Gary understands the importance of taking time out to rejuvenate the body.
It’s a popular misconception that being a go-getter means no time for rest. ‘I’ll sleep when I die,’ is a favorite maxim of the modern hustler. Despite the fact the many – in the western world, especially – wear this as a badge of honor, there’s nothing noble about consistently not getting enough sleep. Sleep is not an option, it’s a necessity. Depriving the body of sleep can have long-term and far-reaching negative consequences beyond the obvious low energy and a lack of focus.
Ariana Huffington recently published a book called The Sleep Revolution. In it, she stresses the importance of sleep as a critical part of a healthy and highly functional life. She rejects the notion of sleep as a commodity or that ‘sleep is simply time lost to other pursuits.’ According to Ariana, good sleep makes us better at our jobs and better at life, overall. Simply put, it’s a foundational building block to a happy and balanced life. Sleep doesn’t take time away from you, it helps you use time more efficiently and effectively.
So how much sleep should we get daily?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. This is the amount of sleep needed by most people to sufficiently restore energy levels and maintain good bodily and mental functions. A few specific benefits of sleeping at least seven hours a night include improved memory, added creativity, sharpened attention and focus, and healthy weight management. If meeting your goals and obligations is important to you then developing good sleeping habits must be a part of that plan; running on empty is not a winning business strategy.
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