Our society often shows great leaders working long hours and being proud of their lack of sleep. Exhaustion is a demonstration of their work ethic and contribution, giving others the impression that a lack of sleep equals success.
What we don’t see is what happens behind the scenes, the joint pains, lapses in judgment, memory loss and excruciating exhaustion. How willing are you to trust this person with crucial decisions?
According to The Huffington Post, research shows that a stressful daily life and work can cause the body to break down, possibly leading to cortisol “steal.” Cortisol is one of the body’s main stress hormones. When it is chronically elevated, it steals from hormones that make us feel good such as testosterone and estrogen. We end up with more stress and poor decision-making skills.
Not mention if we combine elevated stress with a lack of sleep, a poor diet and exercise, we cause inflammation inside our bodies. Joint pains, poor motivation, allergies, fatigue and moodiness, are all signs of inflammation. History reveals that some of our past leaders may have suffered from inflammation due to stress, which could be a reason that health issues increased and they rarely lived past the age of 60.
These facts pose the question, how can great leaders exist if they are more likely to make poor decisions and errors, learn less efficiently, and more likely to die of disease?
Getting 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep every night is a way to be an even better leader without having to pay health consequences. A great leader should possess high levels of patience, wisdom, concentration, memory power and calmness, all of which can be boosted with sleep. How might the decisions in the world be greater if we all got sufficient amounts of rest?
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