Mental Health Self

Your best asset is sleep

By Fiona Bugler • 13th April 2020

Wellbeing, sleep and self-care are not signs of weakness. A good night’s sleep is a key factor a successful and happier life.

In yesterday’s Sunday Times, a survey of 2,300 people from researchers at King’s College London and pollsters Ipsos Mori revealed that three in five people are sleeping just as well or better than before the lockdown here in the UK.

They quoted sleep expert, Russel Foster, a professor and director of Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at Oxford, who told them: ‘In our busy 24/7 society…most of us are usually sleep deprived.’

Before I go on, I understand that we’re all under pressure right now and wellbeing is far from our list of priorities: trying to keep a businesses afloat, keep people in jobs, not able to sleep at night because you’re so worried? All this wellbeing and introspective stuff is fluff, right? It’s just extra pressure? How are we expected to make time to run, walk, meditate or spend time reading books?

The bottom line

When it comes to the bottom line, i.e. being productive and keeping businesses afloat, let’s just talk about sleep. There appears to be a degree of masochism amongst type As who with red eyes, and dull skin love to tell you how little sleep they survive on, just like Thatcher famous for her lack of sleep (didn’t affect her judgement at all, did it!?). The implication, no sleep and being wired the entire time is what it takes to be successful.

Yesterday I chapter eight of Essentialism by Greg McKewonSleep — Protect the Asset which provided more evidence to support the idea that wellbeing is bottom-line stuff (for bottom-line read £££$$$$). McKewon refers to a Harvard Business Review article, Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer, which explains how sleep deprivation and delivering high perfromance are definitely not good bedfellows. A week of sleeping four or five nights a week ‘induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.1%.’ Check out the book, there’s loads more great evidence to show how sleep boosts brain power, performance, and how finally sleep is being seen as valuable to business and even a status symbol.

And don’t forget when you make time to walk, run, meditate, or take time out for half an hour to read a book* it can acutally help you sleep better. Take the pressure off and give yourself back an hour a day. And if after a week it doesn’t work, please let me know in the comments below.

*We can’t all have it all, or be Bill Gates, but he does read quite a lot!


Tag @thezone_mag on Instagram or tweet us @thezone_mag to share your #CovidLessons: What positive lessons have you learnt? Has your wellbeing improved? What will you do when this is all over and things return to ‘normal’?

Fiona Bugler

This article was written by our team of in-house writers. We're always interested to hear from wellbeing professionals and business leaders. If you'd like to write for the zone, follow this link.

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