Great leaders forge a vision for the future. They elevate others while also helping themselves. They are passionate in their pursuits, inspirational in their methods, and decisive in their actions. While many great leaders are born, many others worked hard at their leadership skills. You might think that they did so by earning an MBA, launching new ventures, or gaining the ear of the boss.
But would it surprise you to learn that acquiring new leadership skills or fine-tuning those that you already possess might actually be dependent on your mattress?
In a recent survey by Harvard Business Review, an astounding 43 percent of business leaders do not get enough sleep on at least four nights per week. While this was a non-clinical survey, there is a growing body of research that connects sleep deprivation to a veritable horde of problems. These run the gamut from an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes to car accidents to impaired cognition to poor leadership skills.
Previous research has explored the association between strong leadership skills and excellent sleep habits. One study examined 81 different entities and 189,000 people from all around the world. It determined that effective executive teams embodied four main types of leadership behavior: Results-driven operations, effective problem solving, soliciting different points of view, and support for others.
All of these four main leadership qualities require a good night’s sleep. Since sleep deprivation impairs a person’s ability to focus on tasks, it also inhibits results-driven operations. Previous research has demonstrated that being awake for 17 to 19 hours consecutively without sleep is roughly equivalent to being intoxicated to nearly the legal drinking limit in the U.S. Just 20 hours of wakefulness is equivalent to having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.1 percent – which is sufficient to be arrested for drunk driving. Clearly, getting a good night’s sleep is essential for one’s ability to think logically, concentrate, and process information.
Getting sufficient sleep is also essential for problem solving, pattern recognition, insight, and creative thinking. A good night’s sleep is even vital for a leader’s ability to relate to others, since sleep deprivation can easily cause the misinterpretation of social cues such as body language, tone of voice, and behaviors.
If you’re dissatisfied with the quality or amount of sleep you’re getting with your current mattress, it’s time for an upgrade. Many people wait too long to get a new mattress; they should ideally be replaced no later than 10 years.
Mattress World Northwest has been helping Oregon residents sleep better for more than 20 years. Our Sleep Specialists will help you choose the best mattress for your needs and preferences, a process that is fully backed by our Comfort Guarantee.