Sleep, Is it really that important?

Today in the gym while running on the treadmill I was listening to a16z podcast, the latest episode they posted was titled sleep, which intrigued me because what does sleep has to do with a tech podcast?

Well they answered this question right off, because what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about a Hackathon, which is a term derived from the deepest corners of tech industry. The first thing that comes to mind is developers coding continuously while being “in the zone” and pulling all nighters. What activity is the most affected in this process, Sleep.

So what is sleep?

The dictionary defines sleep as a condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.

Above definition clearly defines that during sleep consciousness is practically suspended, which simply means that the active thought process is suspended and our brain goes into a kind of a power saving mode and just rests for several hours.

As developers and creatives of the tech industry we are all dependent on our creativity which is derived from the power of our brain. So it goes without saying that if our brain is not functioning properly we wont be able to perform at our peak level. And this will affect our creative thought process, which is the main source of our livelihood.

But as I said earlier when we hear the word hackathon, coding contests etc. the first thing that comes to our mind is pulling all nighters . Because it has been set as an example to us over the years that to achieve greatness in the Tech industry one has to work really long hours, sacrifice our natural sleep cycle. Which is just insane!

By following this trend we are setting ourselves up for failure, because by avoiding sleep and proper rest we are simply pushing our brain to its limits. And continuing on this trend we end up getting burned out. And end up wasting more time to recover from this burnout than would have been required to just sleep for 6 to 8 hours everyday.

Sleep, productivity, and creatively are intimately linked, for better and for worse. And “we are living under a collective delusion that burnout is the way to succeed,” observes Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution.
Not only does this affect our health and resilience, she argues, but the data shows that even though we are working longer hours than ever, we lose 11 days of productivity a year per employee due to sickness or diminished capacity.

So to answer the main question, is sleep really that important?

From all the above mentioned evidence and observation only one thing can be concluded that we need to sleep more and sleep well. Its a simple correlation between the fact that better sleep equal better productivity and creativity. And that sleep is very important!

So now to achieve my maximum productivity, I should go to sleep now. Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post don’t forget to recommend.