The Biggest Mistake Every High Level Executive Makes

5th February 2019

Read time is about 5 mins

The Biggest Mistake Every High Level Executive Makes

Many large organizations are realizing the importance of their employees’ sleep, but how important is it really?

Most executives have goals to maximize performance and key-decisions that are being made throughout the organization, all while limiting employee burnout. Although a number of lifestyle choices can affect all of the above, there’s something missing from most organizations’ health and wellness priorities: sleep.

3 Major Impacts of Poor Sleep on Business Executives

Your Attention & Memory on Performance
One of the first things that poor sleep will impact is your concentration and alertness. A study at UCLA showed that sleep deprivation hampers the ability of brain cells to communicate with one another, which compromises our mental performance. In addition to your attention span, you’ll also have a harder time remembering things. “Memory consolidation” occurs during sleep, which is the brain process that stores away old memories to make room for new ones. With your short-term and working memory impeded, strategic thought processes will be adversely affected.

Judgement and Your Decision Making
Poor sleep will also impair your decision making skills by negatively affecting the functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain that helps us make sound decisions). We become less able to recognize and respond to threats or challenges, while simultaneously distorting our evaluation of consequence and reward. This can lead to more risky behaviours and decisions, as we become more likely to disregard any moral implications of our actions. On top of this, our interpersonal skills suffer, and we become more likely to misinterpret both verbal and non-verbal cues.

Physical Health
Sleep is essential for maintaining optimal physical health. As we learned in our blog post about sleep and a healthy diet, poor sleep can increase your appetite. This is due to the disruption of the hormones that control hunger, ghrelin and leptin. These are the hormones that tell your body when it’s full and when it’s hungry, so when they are dysregulated, your appetite can be all over the place. Disrupted sleep can also lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and unbalanced cortisol. Cortisol is considered a “stress hormone”, and numerous studies have linked it to weight gain.

Poor or insufficient sleep can lead to reduced growth hormone, too; this is the hormone responsible for exercise-related muscle repair and fat burning. You may also experience feelings of fatigue and less motivation to exercise. Our blog post about sleep and exercise sheds more light on this topic.

What would a well rested workforce mean to your business?

Sleep is not only a benefit to the health and wellness of your employees, but also to your bottom line. This is why we created an in-house Employee Wellness program — Sleep Concierge.

Sleep Concierge offers Customized Sleep Wellness Programs for: Transportation, Shift Work and Executive Health.

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