Last night was awesome. You see, I did something most people seldom do. I got in bed, turned off the lights, and slept eight hours!
Everyone seems to be too busy these days to get eight hours of sleep. For many people, it’s a job that demands more and more time in this “do more with less” culture in which we live. For others, it’s managing the responsibilities of raising kids and taking care of a home. It often seems that our days are consumed with activity from the moment we awaken until the moment our head hits the pillow.
Sadly, the result for many people is less sleep. A key to being fully engaged at work (and home) is getting sufficient sleep. Although experts recommend getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night, a government study found that 30% of working adults get six hours or less.
In my book Living for the Weekday, I address the impact physical health has on our engagement. But a study conducted at the University of Alabama in Birmingham shows a lack of engagement on the job could be the least of our worries. According to the three-year study of more than 5,600 adults, the risk of stroke was four times higher with less than six hours of sleep a night. While some people still associate suffering a stroke with diet and exercise (and yes, it still matters), this study shines a light on yet another risk of not getting enough rest. It’s not something to take lightly — stroke is still the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States.
No matter how busy you may be, you are of no use to anyone in your life if you become a death statistic from suffering a stroke. So, get some rest. And by all means, stop bragging about how little sleep you need to function. Sleep tight!
© 2015 Clint Swindall — Clint is the president & CEO of Verbalocity, Inc., a personal development company with a focus on leadership enhancement. For information about how he can enhance employee engagement in your organization, please visit www.verbalocity.com, or contact him directly firstname.lastname@example.org.