You need between 7-9 hours of sleep to function properly
Americans and their poor sleep
Sleep is such an underrated commodity. Yet, according to the CDC, 35% of American adults sleep less than 7 hours a day.
1/3 of the population is NOT sleeping enough!
Yet, I believe that our society still doesn’t prioritize sleep and other aspects of our well being enough as a real factor on our productivity and decision making.
It’s not just my opinion either…
Fatigue has a massive economic impact, costing employers billions of dollars a year. It’s estimated that reductions in productivity, motivation, and health care costs related to fatigue cost individual employers around $1,967 annually per employee12. When these losses in productivity are added up, fatigue at work costs U.S. companies around $136.4 billion dollars a year13.The Link Between Sleep and Job Performance – Sleep Foundation
And that is just what they estimate…a $136.4 billion in economic impact a year.
Or for a personal example, when I was in the middle of selling my company, I would often take a red eye flight to New York City, Uber to my hotel, check-in and shower, before heading out to 8 straight hours of meetings and pitches followed by an “important” dinner of some sort with potential buyers or investment bankers.
Then I’d get a small amount of sleep after all of that, and get up and do it again the next day before flying home.
I often wondered, why our society does this? We are flying in for important meetings, but then running ourselves dry on sleep/exhaustion?
How can we possibly always think we’ll be at our peak performance for these types of things?
How can you sleep 5-6 hours a night and not have it be a detriment to your body and your performance in some way, shape or form?
The answer: You can’t sleep less than 7 hours and not have it be to your detriment.
More studies are piling up that show that not only do we need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but that we are actually enhancing our risk-seeking behavior by sleeping less than 7 hours.
Personally, I tried not to do the whole red-eye thing very often and otherwise would aim for 8 hours of a sleep a night, but there is no doubt that majority of our society functions like this all the time.
The real benefits of sleep…
The real life benefits of a good night’s sleep are numerous.
I for one, feel sharper, more able to take on the day. Overall I feel healthier and happier when I am sleeping well.
WebMD outlines the Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep:
- “Sharper Brain”
- “Mood Boost”
- “Healthier Heart”
- “Athletic Achievement”
- “Steadier Blood Sugar”
- “Germ Fighting”
- “Weight Control”
They sum it up with “Your best bet is to shoot for 7-8 hours of slumber each night for peak health benefits.”
And I can attest that this is all true.
I can notice after a streak of poor night’s sleep just how much my body actually needs and wants that 7-8 hours. For me it comes in the form of headaches, grogginess, aggravation, and weight gain.
When my kids were younger and not sleeping through the night, I gained the most weight that I have in my life.
Then, when they settled in and slept longer, I was able to shed the 15-20 pounds that I had gained during their infant years. And I didn’t change my diet, or my overall stress levels. Sleep was the only differentiator.
But the pendulum is shifting towards more and better sleep
Like I said at the beginning of the article. There has been a solid media blitz around sleep. We all now know that between 7-9 hours of sleep is best.
And even Elon Musk, who runs multiple companies and is notorious for working formerly working 120 hour weeks (now 80-90 hour weeks) has embraced sleeping more in sleep:
And if you do further google searches, you can find a plethora of evidence that sleep is a factor for many of the world’s richest from Warren Buffett to Jeff Bezos:
Jeff Bezos has been a huge proponent for 8 hours of sleep and this article has some good nuggets here in The math behind Jeff Bezos’ 8 hours of sleep—and why he says going ‘crazy’ with 4 hours isn’t worth it.
Sleep is the underrated factor in your wealth creation
So no matter where you are on your journey to Financial Independence or Retirement, the answer to many of your problems is quite simple.
If you want to earn more money, get more sleep.
If you want to make better spending decisions, get more sleep.
If you want to become a better investor, get more sleep.
If you want to be a happier person, get more sleep.
If you want to put your body to the test in any way, and/or become healthier, start with sleep.
Sleep is the answer my friends.
Now, as for me, I got pretty tired after writing this post, so I think it may be time for a nap!
PS: I use this Coop Home Goods – Premium Adjustable Pillow. It comes with extra stuffing and a ziplock back, so that you can add/remove to your preferences. This is the best night sleep I have ever had with this pillow. We have bought the same pillows that they use at Four Seasons Hotels before, and this pillow is better. Highly recommend!