Mar 01 2016

Leadership and the importance of getting good sleep

hammocks-413714_1280Today’s post is a summary of an article by McKinsey on the importance of getting good sleep. They argue that sleep deprived brains lose the ability to make accurate judgments because neuroscience has shown that the prefrontal cortex doesn’t do well without sleep.

In their leadership research (2015), cited in the article, McKinsey found a strong correlation between sleep and the ability:

  • to operate with a strong orientation to results
  • to solve problems effectively
  • to seek out different perspectives
  • to support others

McKinsey’s model shows that good sleep improves:

  1. attention
  2. concentration
  3. creativity
  4. development of insight
  5. pattern recognition
  6. learning and memory
  7. decision making
  8. emotional reactions
  9. socioemotional processing
  10. developing trusted relationships

In this hyper-connected 24/7 world sleep is also an important organisational topic as many organisations are not promoting healthy sleep. However, there are some people who are skilfully and consciously managing their sleep so they stay refreshed even after crossing multiple time zones or working late into the night.

In the article the authors suggest there a number of things organisations can do to promote healthy sleep habits to their employees, including:

  • teaching sleep management
  • embedding sleep management into the wider well-being programme
  • offering more flexible travel arrangements
  • imposing blackout times on emails
  • implementing rules to curb late or all night working
  • demanding mandatory work-free vacations
  • giving predictable time off
  • providing napping rooms or pods
  • offering access to smart technology designed to improve sleep management.

The benefits of good sleep are well documented, yet employees are still tired and stressed at work.

Informing and encouraging your employees to form better sleep habits can only be a good thing in terms of the individual’s health as well as improved productivity for the organisation.

We have written a previous blog on the importance of sleep

It’s official napping is good for you

This links to a TEDx talk by a sleep researcher as well as a sleep app called Pzizz.

Finally, here’s an infographic from happify.com on the science of sleep



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