It’s pretty clear that the world we live in is sleep deprived. In our hyper-connected, 24/7 world, many of us are losing sleep — literally. Such sleep deficiencies can undermine important forms of leadership behavior and eventually hurt performance. Nevertheless, frenzied corporate cultures still confuse sleeplessness with vitality and high performance.
Many of the world’s greatest athletes and businessmen eat, sleep, breathe, and live for their sport or business. But did you know that in addition to physical conditioning and conscious eating, sleep plays a major role in athletic performance and competitive results? The quality and amount of sleep individuals get is often the key to winning. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep in particular provides energy to both the brain and body. If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to repair memory, consolidate memory, and release hormones.
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, is the period when people dream. Body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing increase to levels measured when people are awake. Studies report that REM sleep enhances learning and memory, and contributes to emotional health — in complex ways.
Some research suggests that sleep deprivation increases levels of stress hormone, cortisol. Sleep deprivation has also been seen to decrease production of glycogen and carbohydrates that are stored for energy use during physical activity. In short, less sleep increases the possibility of fatigue, low energy, and poor focus at game time whether that is in business or sports.