As a working parent, you may feel like you have to always choose between spending time for  your work or spending time for your family. That might lead to an inner chatter that might tell you that you have to choose between being a good leader at work and being a good parent at home.

What if I told you that getting enough sleep could help you excel in both areas?

If you are like me and you still want to pursue your own dreams and hobbies next to the job and kids, you could end-up working late and getting shorter nights. Five years ago when I was writing my first book I told to myself that I don’t need a 7-hr sleep, 5-6 are sufficient for me. I was fine, on the surface, but in reaulity, I couldn’t reach full mental rest.

The truth is, there is a powerful connection between sleep and leadership capabilities, and working parents who prioritize sleep are better equipped to lead their teams and their families. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind this connection and provide tips on how you can improve your sleep to become a better leader.

It’s no secret that sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being, but it also plays a significant role in leadership capabilities. Here’s why:

  1. Enhanced decision-making: When we sleep, our brains consolidate memories and process information. This leads to enhanced cognitive function and better decision-making abilities. As a leader, making good decisions is essential, and getting enough sleep can help you do just that.
  2. Improved creativity: Sleep also plays a crucial role in creative thinking. Studies have shown that sleep helps us make new connections between ideas and enhances our ability to solve problems. As a leader, creativity is essential for coming up with new ideas and solutions, and getting enough sleep can help you tap into your creative potential.
  3. Better emotional regulation: Sleep deprivation can impair our emotional regulation, making it more challenging to manage stress and communicate effectively. As a leader, emotional regulation is crucial for maintaining a positive work environment and managing conflicts. Getting enough sleep can help you stay calm and level-headed in stressful situations.
  4. Enhanced productivity: When we’re sleep-deprived, our productivity and performance suffer. Studies have shown that getting enough sleep leads to better concentration, attention, and productivity. As a leader, being productive and efficient is crucial for managing your workload and achieving your goals.

You may be wondering how you can improve your sleep to become a better leader. Here are some tips:

  1. Make sleep a priority: The first step to improving your sleep is to make it a priority. Recognize the importance of sleep for your overall well-being and commit to getting enough sleep each night.
  2. Establish a bedtime routine: Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. This may include activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing.
  3. Create a sleep-conducive environment: Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable and relaxing space. This may include using blackout curtains, keeping the room cool, and minimizing noise and light.
  4. Limit screen time before bed: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with sleep. Try to limit your exposure to screens in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  5. Practice good sleep hygiene: Good sleep hygiene includes habits such as going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and exercising regularly.

As working parents, we have a lot on our plate, but let’s not let sleep fall by the wayside.Prioritizing sleep can have a powerful impact on your leadership capabilities both at work and at home.

By making sleep a priority, establishing a bedtime routine, creating a sleep-conducive environment, limiting screen time, and practicing good sleep hygiene, you can improve your sleep and become a better leader.

The next time you’re debating between pulling an all-nighter or getting some shut-eye, remember that a good night’s sleep could be the key to unlocking your full leadership potential. Not to mention that the benefits of a good-night sleep for avoiding costy human-errors.

‘Tired people, make stupid mistakes.’ (the true words  of Safety worker)


P.S: If you want to find out more ways how to set Sleep as a priority in your life, join our Linkedin Live on May 12, 2023, 8.00 CST. Press attend and you will get a calendar reminder.

Steliana Economu is the author of Mothers as Leaders and a leadership coach specialised in emotional and positive intelligence(PQ and EQ). If you liked this article and want to enjoy more of this type of resources do follow us on  

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