Sleeping Like the CEO is Bullshit
I feel refreshed, healthy, able to work and focus, and more importantly…happy. Know why?
Because I got seven full hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep.
But not just any sleep. It was Friday night. I did not have to wake in the morning to the jarring shrill of an alarm clock.
Oh, no. See, I slept on my own terms during the hours MY BODY gets naturally tired and then wants to awaken.
It’s almost a weekly thing. On Mondays, I am so productive. I’m chipper. I’m a torrential whirlwind of achievement at the office.
And then Tuesday comes. That intense surge of energy lessens a bit. By Friday, if I can get to work on time, it’s a heroic effort, and I only live a few blocks away. Why…
… because I spent the week depriving my body of its natural sleep cycle because of the dictates of my work and of society.
Ambien and other medicinal sleep aids are a billion-dollar market. Insomnia is at unprecedented levels. There is something wrong with you, we are told, if you can’t get a good night’s sleep:
You must be: anxious, stressed, lazy, or guilty of one of the seven sins…
We Americans, live not in a democracy; not in a Republic. We live in a corporatetocracy.
The rules we have to follow, legally, in business, and just about in every other aspect of our lives, are not set so much by the politicians we elect, but more so by the CEOs and executives of the top money-making companies in our country.
It takes a certain level of smarts to found a successful company or to be a CEO. But it also takes some amount of fixated drive and dare I say, a dab of neurotic, OCD behavior to create a Facebook, or become CEO of a Yahoo or Uber or GE, or any other huge company that employs thousands around the world.
Face it, most of us are not so inclined. Sure, we are driven, but many of us are happy being employees, or perhaps with our own entrepreneurial endeavor that makes enough for us to pay bills, buy a home, and go on vacation now and then.
The problem is the minority that achieves astounding success in business, are the ones to set the dictates. Including the times the rest of us must wake up in order to make them happy as their employees.
Of course, many of these A-Type, neurotic, overachievers think nothing about rising at 3 or 4 AM. They also probably not coincidentally, are usually men, who are not tasked with being the primary carers of children. Hell, a lot of them probably don’t have dogs. They prefer the independence of cats, more likely.
And these type of men, often die untimely. But before they do, they usually have selected a boot-licking toady to take over for them who will enforce their outrageous standards. (Think Steve Jobs and Tim Cook).
We all differ. And that includes our need for sleep. Some are early birds, some are night owls. And when you try to force one to become the other you have higher incidents of workplace non-productivity, car accidents, and even violence.
There is great hope for the shift to a “gig”-everyone-becomes-a-freelancer-or-independent-agent economy. Despite the many challenges it will bring, people will be able to set their own rules for working, including the time they wake up to do so.