Working long hours is sometimes necessary, but it is not a badge of honor.
You might think the key to success is working more and sleeping less. You might think it’s the small price all business owners must pay, but a Stanford study provided evidence that there’s little benefit to working excessively long hours at the cost of not getting enough sleep.
The study finds almost no difference in output between someone who works 56 hours per week and someone who works 70. But there is likely a difference in the amount of mistakes and poor decisions made.
This is shown in a second study, published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, which found that healthcare workers make more errors in patient care when working longer hours.
William C. Dement, founder of the Sleep Research Center at Stanford University says, “Sleep deprivation is the most common brain impairment.” The level of impairment is much like being under the influence of alcohol according to a study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
None of us would consider performing our high-stakes jobs while drinking, so let’s not encourage, reward, and brag about how little sleep we get.
Let’s try to be more efficient with the time we have. Let’s strive to stop sending late-night emails. Let’s prioritize sleep so that we don’t forgo it needlessly.
Long hours are sometimes necessary. Our jobs demand more time than we often have and we must make sacrifices.
But sleep is not something we should be proud to sacrifice.
Adam Lucas holds a Finance degree and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. His work has appeared in many major outlets including AARP.org and GoBankingRates.com.