June 2, 2017
Entrepreneurs love burning the midnight oil. After all, more work hours means more productivity, right? And, as we all know, without productivity, entrepreneurs shrivel up and turn to dust. Despite study after study showing that sleep facilitates productivity more than Slack and Asana combined, these hungry innovators are determined to forego a good night’s rest in pursuit of the ever-elusive elixir that is startup productivity. But what’s the point of productivity if it’s not making you any money?
A recent study out of the University of California San Diego found that people sleeping well earn 5 percent higher incomes than their sleepless counterparts in the long run. The study went on to specify, showing that a single hour more of sleep every night can lead to these increased income results. And the data is hard to argue with.
“Medical research indicates that sleep may play an important part in determining worker productivity,” wrote Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader, the authors of the study. “Tired doctors make more mistakes. Tired students perform worse on tests. Poor sleep impairs health.”
Somewhere along the way, productivity hackers and schedule junkies decided that getting a good night’s rest was nothing but a hindrance to checking off boxes on the ol’ to-do list. Ever since then, everyone with a science degree and a head on their shoulders has thrown every statistic they can at hungry entrepreneurs in an effort to get them to realize that sleep is not for the weak; it’s for the smart.
“I hear people say, ‘If I want to make money, I need to sleep less,’” says Terry Cralle, a registered nurse and author of Sleeping Your Way to the Top: How to Get the Sleep You Need to Succeed. “But the fact is, you need to get enough sleep, and get it consistently. That improves the quality of your working hours and helps you make good financial and professional decisions — and avoid bad risks.”
Will this be the study to change their minds? Almost certainly not. All this research is well and good, but when the cards are down and you have to put together a pitch presentation for a 7am meeting and it’s 2:45am, a good night’s rest is out of the picture. I guess all an entrepreneur can do is sleep when you have the chance, because they’re few and far between.
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