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  • Writer's pictureKarleen L.

8 Hours A Day is Enough. Anything After That is Killing You Literally

One of my favorite rap songs is By Rick Ross. It is called "Hustlin'." The lyrics of the chorus are "every day I am hustling." That song is the anthem of most start-up entrepreneurs and business owners. However, I lean on the mantra of "sleep your way to the top" from one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Ariana Huffington.

Sometimes you have to go the extra mile but not every day. If you do, you will end up exhausting yourself or hating your business because instead of being creative, you are a slave to it, and you will resent it.

According to research on productivity – working long hours backfires. Even though you expect productivity and work to increase, it decreases after 40 hours. Numerous studies by Marianna Virtanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and her colleagues (as well as other studies) have found that overwork and the resulting stress lead to health problems, including drinking, diabetes, and heart disease. Mentally, this will drive impaired sleep, depression, and memory loss. During sleep and rest, the brain clears out harmful waste proteins that build up between its cells.

Overall, this will naturally affect your company's bottom line. If this is the culture you create at your job, you will surely see a growing list of absenteeism, turnover, and rising health insurance costs with your employees. "Sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood, our ability to focus, and our ability to access higher-level cognitive functions: the combination of these factors is what we generally refer to as mental performance," say Drs. Stuart Quan and Russell Sanna, from Harvard Medical School's Division of Sleep Medicine.

In a Harvard Business Review Article assessment of 35,000 leaders and interviews with 250 more, they found that the more senior a person's role, the more sleep they got. If you examine most Fortune 500 CEOs and their habits, most ensure they get at least 8 hours of sleep.

Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates get eight hours of sleep. So, if they find that with rest, they wake up refreshed at their most optimal, why are we working hard not to sleep? Even though I love Rick Ross' song, "Hustlin'," you should be hustling to get eight hours of sleep.

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