Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

I was reading about Jack Ma insisting that working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. is a wonderful thing.

And I thought: "What risible nonsense. I wonder how much he sleeps." 

Well, he sometimes looks very tired, doesn't he? 

Then I discovered he claims to be an excellent sleeper, believing good sleep offers the best chance to overcome problems.

Problems like a lack of sleep because you work 12 hours a day, for example.

How long, though, should you sleep if you really want to be sane, healthy, and successful?

Researchers at NYU Langone Health's School of Medicine thought they'd ponder this in some depth.

They examined everything they could find online about sleep, then asked real sleep experts to divide the truth from the bunkum.

They say they found 20 completely false beliefs about sleep that seem commonly accepted.

And, of course, commonly acted upon.

The worst, perhaps, was: "Many adults need only five or less hours of sleep for general health."

So many entrepreneurs swear by this. Or, at least, they expect their employees to swear by this.

They hoist it high as a badge of honor.

Instead, the truth is you're supposed to sleep between seven and 10 hours, depending on how old you are.

Yes, if you really want to be a high-functioning, healthy, and successful sort, let your mind and body truly get a proper rest.

Many people--and so many entrepreneurs love this one too--are convinced you can train yourself to need less sleep.

Um, no.

You need to get through four phases of sleep to be truly rested.

There's light sleep, heavier sleep, deepest sleep, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

"The deeper stages of sleep are really important for generation of neurons, repairing muscle, and restoring the immune system," lead researcher Rebecca Robbins told CNN.

Which all sound like things a fine entrepreneur actually needs.

Here's another myth that many embrace: You can catch up on sleep whenever you want.

Sadly, not.

Oddly enough, a regular sleep schedule harmonizes with your body-clock and is therefore far better for you.

By the way, yes, you can sleep too much--and you shouldn't. No, you shouldn't sleep in a warm room. Cold rooms are more conducive to happy sleep.

And here's a myth I confess I've never heard. Apparently, many people believe that if you can remember your dreams, you've slept well.

Alas not.

In essence, then, a healthy lifestyle--one that doesn't tire you out--may be most conducive to success. 

In Robbins's words: 

There's such a link between good sleep and our waking success.

I wonder how many successful entrepreneurs have ever tried it.

So many of them seem so stressed out all the time.

Published on: Apr 21, 2019
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