It's typical to grow up hearing about the health benefits of a good night's sleep, and most enjoy the feeling of being well rested. There's good reason that sleeping in is considered one of life's best simple pleasures! Unfortunately, sleep is also one of the first things to be sacrificed when deadlines loom, stress mounts, and it feels like there's more work than time. Forgoing rest often seems like a necessary choice when your dreams or career are on the line. Scientific evidence, however, makes a strong case that skipping sleep is actually the most counterproductive decision you can make.

YPO member Phillip Krim is CEO of Casper, a company that aims to create optimal sleep conditions for its clientele and to change the way they buy mattresses and sleep-related products. In his previous roles with The Merrick Group and VocalizeMobile, Krim learned the importance of a good night's rest to advance his own leadership capabilities, making him one of his own best customers.

Here, Krim shares the professional benefits of prioritizing a peaceful night's rest and the science that supports his claims:

1. You'll be happier while on the job.

Psychologists from Sweden surveyed about 5,000 employed adults about their sleep habits and workplace attitudes. Krim takes their findings seriously: "A single night of sleep directly impacts your day and even your week. Being consciously aware of your sleep habits allows you to really evaluate your happiness both inside and outside of the office." If you're consistently unhappy at work, try getting more rest before going in search of a new job.

2. You'll stay cooler under pressure.

Have you ever noticed that your own fuse seems shorter when you are tired? Your family and coworkers can probably confirm that it is. "A well-rested mind is always more at ease. A good night's sleep helps you tackle all of life's curveballs," he suggests. Vitamin Zzz may be the best type of "chill pill."

3. You'll be more popular.

Krim also references a 2016 study from US and Pakistani business school professors, where those who prioritized sleep were considered more engaging and likable. "Turns out, well-slept leaders are perceived as more charismatic." It should really be no surprise, as a lack of sleep tends to make almost anyone cranky...and it's hard to be cranky and charming at the same time.

4. You'll actually process information better by "sleeping on it."

Krim explains, "Sleep solidifies information into long-term memories -- make sure you rest before presentations to go in with confidence." While it might be tempting to let your nerves convince you to cram all night, put things aside for the night and let your unconscious do its job.

5. You'll see that quality rest = quality performance.

Multiple studies support the argument that high-quality sleep helps create positive work performance. In 2016, a meta-analysis, a 'study of studies,' on work-and-sleep research looked at research starting with the 1970s and continuing up to the present day. The conclusions were consistent. "Negativity is often contagious. A good night's sleep fosters a positive environment for you and those around you," he points out.

6. You'll be less accident prone.

Krim references a 2010 survey of more than 4,000 employees at four U.S. corporations, which linked insomnia and insufficient sleep to decreased productivity, performance, and workplace safety. He explains:"Promoting a good night's sleep across the company will not only save money but also increase productivity and employee happiness."

7. You'll be smarter.

"Sleep improves our ability to problem solve and recall information. By getting a good night's rest, you'll perform better the next day," insists Krim. If that's the case, then one of the keys to working smart instead of just hard is knowing when it's time to knock off and go to bed.

Each week Kevin explores exclusive stories inside YPO, the world's premiere peer-to-peer organization for chief executives, eligible at age 45 or younger.

Published on: Apr 14, 2017
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.