Home Feature 3-hr sleep: ‘Imitating Dangote can kill you’

3-hr sleep: ‘Imitating Dangote can kill you’

If your motto is “hustle till you drop”, lack of sleep could see you drop before you even profit from your hustle.

You may have seen the report that Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote, is so caught up with work that he sleeps just three hours a day. “I believe in hard work and one of my business success secrets is hard work. It’s hard to see a youth that will go to bed by 2am and wake up by 5am. I don’t rest until I achieve something,” a story on Ventures Africa quotes the World’s richest black man as saying.
As admirable as Dangote’s passion and dedication to his fleet of businesses are, more than admirable when you throw in the fact that he built Africa’s largest conglomerate from scratch, your desire to follow in his footsteps should not make you adapt his sleep pattern. Doing so will put both your career and health at risk, so says several LinkedIn Influencers cited by the BBC.
Here is why you should take their warning seriously:
Sleep deprivation can kill you
If your motto is “hustle till you drop”, lack of sleep could see you drop before you even profit from your hustle.
LinkedIn influencer and Chief Executive at Advance Performance Institute, Bernard Marr, wrote in his LinkedIn post; “You may think that burning the midnight oil and staying constantly busy are good for your career — but you might be seriously damaging your career — and your health”.
He explained that stress, among other things, increases the risk of heart disease by 40 percent, risk of heart attack by 25 percent and risk of stroke by 50 percent. “Many people thrive on stress and love the buzz that comes with it, but ignore the effect it has on their physical and mental wellbeing.”
And for those stretching their body limits because of money (or because they want to be like Dangote), Marr points to a research that showed that “the increased stress and fatigue of working overtime was not offset by any increase in happiness or wellbeing that might accompany the extra income”.
And it can kill your career
You may be obstructing the very thing you are trying to achieve by depriving your body system of its required sleep.
Travis Bradberry, another LinkedIn influencer and the President of Talent Smart, wrote in his post;
“The short-term productivity gains from skipping sleep to work are quickly washed away by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on your mood, ability to focus and access to higher-level brain functions for days to come.”
He added that the negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep.
As to why we need sufficient sleep to perform better, Bradberry points to a new research from the University of Rochester (United States) which provided the first direct evidence for why our brain cells need us to sleep.
“The study found that when you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are by-products of neural activity when you’re awake. Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while you’re asleep.
“So when you don’t get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think — something no amount of caffeine can fix,” Bradberry wrote.
“Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity,” he added.
Thus, seven to nine hours of sleep is an obligation, Bradberry stresses, stating that the consequences of lack of such includes memory lapses, impaired moral judgment, impaired immune system and higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Instead, get enough sleep, it will better your career and your life
Good sleep and rest has immense benefits, sacrificing it may mean sacrificing your life and everything that you think you’re trying to achieve.
This is not saying you should neglect Dangote’s 5 excellent entrepreneurial tips, rather it is an advice to also consider Bradberry’s 10 strategies for getting better sleep.
Among them: “Avoid blue light at night; wake up at the same time every day; eliminate interruptions; and learn to meditate… (Those who meditate) report that it improves the quality of their sleep and that they can get the rest they need even if they aren’t able to significantly increase the number of hours they sleep.”
Bernard Marr also offers quality advice on how can you cool down and diffuse the pressure of work.
“Often the difference between a fun and challenging situation and a stressful one is simply understanding what’s expected of you,” he wrote. “So, the number one way to reduce job-related stress is to have a clear idea of what’s expected of you and manage those expectations.”
If you are among those who constantly stress about work after you get home, Marr says you should take the time to make a firm plan of how to deal with problems before you leave the office.
“That one step will help you leave work at work,” he declares. Automating as many tasks as possible can also help reduce stress, Marr adds, “This can also include simple daily decisions such as what to have for lunch or what to wear.”

•Courtesy: Ventures Africa

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