“They call us dreamers,  but we’re the ones that don’t sleep”

 

Commonly quoted in viral motivational content.  This quote is layered and can have multiple meanings, usually either to denote longing for sleep in a place that cannot let you sleep, or disparaging sleep to build a better lifestyle. The western mind is more likely to perceive it as the latter meaning.

The alarm buzzes, your consciousness collects and your dream was interrupted. It is a new day and you probably either have to get to work or school. When you return from work, the time upon return varies by individuals – the average 9-5er has about 4 hours left of their day before having to sleep.  These hours, is still a precious amount of time to get work on your dreams. The weekend, or any other days you have off, are plenty of time too. However, some influential figures, or maybe just your anxiety, tells you this isn’t enough time. The impact of listening to either one could lead you to either excuse running a side hustle at all as you believe you “don’t have enough time”. Or you overwork yourself, and that itself can be an absolute detriment to not just your business, but your health.

It is already known that the most famous entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs in general, have a poor relationship with sleep. It is often excused by their work ethic, or their work demand. In 2011, CEO and founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey reportedly only gets 4-6 hours a sleep per night. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! reportedly only gets 4 hours of sleep per night to attend to her 130 hour work week. Famous figures in the business field, such as Gary Vee and Steve Harvey happen to also promote risking sleep in order to get work done.

 

The Sleepless Elite

A term coined by the Wall Street Journal, The Sleepless Elite are those genetically gifted to only require a short amount of sleep. It is also known as the “Thatcher Gene” as Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the UK, only needed 4 hours of sleep per night. Donald Trump, Elon Musk and Martha Stewart are believed to possess the gene, in which by they thrive by having less sleep. Only 1-3% of the population carry the gene.

According to sleepfoundation.org healthy adults should strive for 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to maintain physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can lead to very scary health complications, which can be anywhere from diabetes to schizophrenia, and the effects can potentially set in fast. Skipping on sleep has not taken kindly to Arianna Huffington, who had once collapsed on a 18-hour working day. Since that incident, Huffington has been outspoken on healthy sleep practices. On the flip side, having plenty of sleep comes with plenty of benefits. Sleeping enough can help improve your memory, reduce stress and protect your immune system. Also, a study has also revealed that entrepreneurs who sleep are better at spotting good ideas.

 

Sleep takes a huge chunk of our day

On average, we spend 26 years of our lives sleeping. That can seem very daunting, knowing that we are losing 1/3 of our lives. Sleep deprivation is often caused by this anxiety, which is similar to FOMO (fear of missing out). The work demand may really need all this attention, but it is possible to have plenty of sleep by making changes to your schedule and practising healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy can make you more productive according to Health Enhancement Research Organisation.