Business Expert Takes A Swipe At The 100 Hour Workweek:
In his piece over at the HBR, business productivity expert and writer Tony Schwartz makes the argument that Sleep is more important than food.
I guess he has a point, sleep cannot be stored in bodyfat for times of famine.
He cites several informal surveys of his own with clients admitting they get 7 hours or less of sleep per night. -Which he then contrasts with more formal research stating that at least in one study, only 2.5% of the participants needed 7 hour or less.
More Work Hours Does Not Mean More Or Better Output:
Where there was no study reference to the 12%+ sleep-deficit many of The Energy Project’s clients were running, people losing about half a night’s sleep have been informally-equated to someone with a Blood-Alcohol-Level of 0.1%.
-That’s equivalent to about 4 drinks in 1 hour for a 150lb. Man, or 3 for a 120lb. Woman.
And torture-references and bombastic marketingspeak-titles aside, Tony might have a point that does not involve fluffing his consulting biz on the HBR.
Sleep Studies Begin To Show Harrowing Consequences:
In some other studies, after 3 days of ~1/4-night’s-sleep, 25% of the brain’s alertness-cells in mice died and didn’t grow back, even with recovery-sleep afterwards.
While the same might not hold true for humans, and 12-15% sleep-deficits might be a different ballgame, it’s still a sobering guidepost.
So take his professional advice to heart, because he knows how to be excellent.
You Too Are A System, & Thus Have A Point Of Diminishing Returns:
Just as there is a point of diminishing-marginal-returns with productivity past a certain work-window or stress-level, I’m sure the science will eventually bear him out.
And maybe one day, long-term sleep-debt (a similar but protracted issue he only hints-at) will no longer be seen as a badge of productivity or honor; [maybe] not even in the business world.
Check out the Links for more details and a few personal-energy pointers from Tony:
Photo Credits: “train2”, by eran chesnutt, saninteractive
• Source: HBR-Sleep More Important Than Food
• More Coverage: HT-Sleep Debt Kills Brain Cells | HBR-Sleep Debt, Performance-Killer | NSF-How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? | TheEnergyProject-Resources | HBR Guide To Managing Stress At Work | BAC Per Drink