Look around your office and you might see heads nodding off in meetings, bloodshot eyes, and low energy from normally high-energy people. Even on Zoom, people are complaining of poor sleep and lingering fatigue. A recent study of leaders across the world found that 42% average six hours of sleep or less.
I’ve been working with clients and colleagues to step back and look at what’s behind our inadequate sleep, and three reasons typically arise:
- Rising Uncertainty. The current chaotic–and often dark–state of the world causes us to worry more about the future. This is partly due to the illusion that we have more influence over what will happen than we actually do.
- Doing More With Less. Leaders believe we have to work longer and harder to keep up with uncertain times.
- Treating Sleep as an Interruption of work. Many people have never developed good sleep habits, because we view sleep as an interruption rather than an enjoyable restoration.
To address this problem, I am helping my clients develop more conscious sleep patterns: In addition to teaching them proven effective sleep practices, I’m working with them to reframe how they view sleep. The most effective leaders I know see sleep as an enjoyable and central aspect of the human experience; they know that along with being restorative, it provides a way to help process the elements of the previous day. A number of my clients use the Five-Minute Journal to set their intention at the beginning of the day, and to reflect on the events and insights of the day before they retire. From this state of feeling their humanness, their sleep improves and their ability to do from the being state also improves dramatically.
I teach these basic sleep practices to support making sleep a foundation of their lives, and the result is happier clients and better business results. Clients report feeling calmer, more positive, and more energetic when they make sleep a conscious part of their life.
Specific results clients have reported:
- Greater satisfaction, engagement, and performance from their staff
- Greater ability to focus and solve complex problems
- Better health, wellness, and personal satisfaction from their work
Changing how we view the act of sleeping can help it do more for us, and enrich us personally and professionally.
Stillness Speaks by Eckhardt Tolle
Guided Sleep Meditations by Jason Stephenson