Busy entrepreneurs have to be fast on their feet. Creative. Driven. Alert. They don’t have time to be groggy, cranky or forgetful. Bringing their A-game all the time, every time requires something most of us don’t get nearly enough of: Sleep. Ideally, seven to eight dreamy hours of it, straight.
Running a business can run you ragged. If you’re chronically scrimping on shuteye, you’re probably wearing down a lot more than your body and your mind. On top of increasing your risk for depression, heart disease, obesity and a tangle of other health complications, sleep experts say you could also be sabotaging your chances of business success.
To help you bump a full night’s sleep (or at least more than a power nap) to the top of your priority list, here are some seriously eye-opening TED Talks on sleep that all entrepreneurs -- and their businesses -- can benefit from. Take three and call us in the morning.
1. Arianna Huffington: How to Succeed? Get More Sleep.
Two years after launching The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington was beyond tired. She hit a wall. Technically, she hit the floor. She fainted from exhaustion, slammed her head on her desk on the way down and came to in a pool of blood. She shattered her cheekbone, got five stitches on her right eye and woke up to the realization that she desperately needed more sleep.
In her rousing four-minute talk, the Greek-American media mogul asks us to shut our eyes and discover “the power of sleep.” She also urges women, who often burn the candle at both ends at work and at home, to literally sleep their way to the top. More sleep, Huffington says, leads to “a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life…” Well then, sign us up for more Zzzzzs already. We’re in.
Related: Press Snooze? You Lose.
2. Russell Foster: Why Do We Sleep?
Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist. Translation: He’s an expert on the body’s sleep cycles. In his 21-minute, fact-filled and sometimes humorous speech, Foster slays several common sleep myths. No, teenagers aren’t just lazy. They really do need more sleep. “Give them a break,” he says. Also, not all of us actually require eight hours of sleep. And, sorry, while heading early to bed can make you healthy, there’s no proof that it can make you wealthy or wise.
Foster says it’s high time we take sleep seriously as a society. “This isn’t some sort of crystal-waving nonsense,” he says. “This is a pragmatic response to good health. If you have good sleep, it increases your concentration, attention, decision-making, creativity, social skills, health.” And what’s not to love about that?
Related: How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
3. Jessa Gamble: Our Natural Sleep Cycle.
British science writer Jessa Gamble argues that the human body’s internal clock is in a constant struggle against the demands of our always-on global culture. And it is. “We're living in a culture of jet lag, global travel, 24-hour business, shift work.” But we’re not too busy to get better, more efficient sleep, not if we know how, she says. In her four-minute talk, Gamble suggests we try a simple yet very unusual trick to reset our “body clock,” so we can wake up refreshed and ready for the work day... and all the rushing typically that comes after clocking out.
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