Here’s a little known story about Warren Buffett, the world’s second richest man and most successful investor about the importance of…sleep.
In the early 1990s, Buffett personally stepped in to straighten out a huge mess at Salomon Brothers, a major investment bank that had seriously lost its way and was about to get shut down.
Buffett stepped off the plane from Omaha and headed straight to the company’s New York City offices for his first face-to-face meeting with its board members.
When he arrived took one look around the room and said…“You guys look exhausted. Why don’t you go home and get a good night’s rest and we’ll meet again tomorrow.”
Sleep ranks very low on the priority list of most hard driving entrepreneurs…but that may be a mistake. A BIG mistake.
I used to think that that story about Buffett and the Salomon board (a true one by the way) was just a sign of his eccentricity and independence, but now after reading a joint study by Harvard Medical School and the University of Berkeley, I realize there’s a lot more to it.
In a nutshell, here’s what they found:
Lack sleep can drive you crazy!
Maybe not permanently, but without proper sleep, the study says, your brain dramatically overreacts to negative experiences.
“Dramatically overreacts”…that’s pretty strong language for a scientific study.
The researchers admit to being surprised at the massively disruptive effect lack of sleep can have on people’s moods and mental health. Going into the study, they intuitively knew – as we all do – that not sleeping well makes you cranky, but they weren’t prepared for what they found.
Lack of sleep, researches say, causes people to act as if they have psychiatric disorders.
Think about the potential significance of this…
It may be that the current epidemic of mood disorders like depression, anxiety and just plain unhappiness may be come from the fact that people just aren’t sleeping enough.
What to do?
Somewhere a long time ago I read (and I wish I could cite the source), that if you want to get a good night’s sleep, make sure you start winding down and are in bed before 11 PM.
If you don’t, your body gets a natural “second wind” that will keep wide awake well past midnight. I’ve tried winding down by 11 PM and I’ve found it works. I’ve also found if I don’t, I’ll probably be up for hours.
Also, avoid things like drinking coffee or soda or eating big meals late in the day. Watching TV too late at night can also keep you up.
On the pro-active side, you might even try some of the tried-and-true natural sleep aids like chamomile tea to help you relax at the end of the day.
I have to confess I’ve often been a major violator of the “get a good night sleep” rule. Somehow there always seems to be something more interesting or important to do than sleep.
But now I plan to take my cue from Warren Buffett and Harvard Medical School.
Sleep…it may be the best productivity (and satisfaction) aid there is – and it’s free!
P.S. If you live on the west coast and want to drive to the next live System training (and maybe even get a good night sleep in your own bed), I’m bringing my one-day System Intensive to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver.
So far, I’ve taught this program in Chicago, New York City, and Toronto.
What is the System Intensive?
It’s me, and you and a small group of people focuses intensely for a day on the things that really matter in business and Internet marketing. No fads, no guru BS, just the things that I’ve seen reliably work over and over again in my now fourteen years of Internet marketing.
– Ken McCarthy
P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.
If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.