Whether you require a lot of sleep or a little, if you’re like most leaders, you’re probably up early. Here’s what that means.
Margaret Thatcher was famous for needing only four hours of sleep. That’s the popular wisdom, at least; her critics might argue that chronic sleep deprivation explains some of the crazier policies of her latter year.
What researchers now appreciate about sleep is that, as your brain tires, it sucks energy (in the form of glucose) away from the areas needed from critical thinking, in favor of those areas that keep you alert. So you can turn up–you just can’t think very well.
What is striking about leaders, however, is that even those who do get a decent eight hours a night are mostly early risers. Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment, gets up at 5 AM. Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone gets up at 6. Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, gets up at 5 because, he says: “Life is too exciting to sleep.”
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