Hey Driver 8—
As a culture, we're learning a lot about sleep.
Here's the short version: We aren't getting enough of it.
The data is hard to argue:
- Lack of sleep costs the U.S. over $411 Billion per year
- 35% of adults get less than 7 hours per day
- 20% of teenagers get less than 5 hours per day
Do you know what's also on the rise besides being sleep-deprived?
Spiritual writer Anthony DeMello once said that most people are "born asleep, grow up asleep, get married asleep, have babies in their sleep, and die asleep." It's pretty apparent he wasn't talking about nocturnal napping.
Not only are we not getting enough sleep… we're not even aware enough to notice.
Add all the information flying across our consciousness when we're awake, and you'll add to the exhaustion. We're like human scanners that never turn off. So our practical lives are reduced to fielding what's flung our way. We get our marching orders from our Inbox—receptacles that house the stuff we're told to attend to.
The result? We're doomed never to feel like our job is done.
That's not ok for you or those you lead.
Previously on TMYD
The last two Newsleaders were about how to best start and sustain your day to maximize agency and give you a sense of control.
Today's is about how critical it is to wrap up your day, so you're dialed for tomorrow.
Here's the thing
We're taking time to break down this start-sustain-recover rhythm because once you see its structure, you can fine-tune it to fit your needs.
Then, as you experience the benefits of practicing your Practice, there'll be no turning back. It's just too good! Ideally, you'll become the kind of person that lives consistently around the variables that best determine your flourishing, creating a non-negotiable structure or scaffolding for your life.
That's what this start-sustain-recover approach is all about.
There’s one more problem, though.
Starting and sustaining gets all of the headlines. Understandable, especially for leaders who want to launch great every day. But, your 24-hour cadence is perpetual.
That’s why it’s the third act that sets up the bigger win.
If we're serious about thriving more than surviving, powering down our bodies is a non-negotiable to maximize recovery. That's not a surprise to anyone awake enough to take it seriously.
As DeMello points out, though, most of us aren't as aware as we think. Instead, we're metaphorically sleepwalking, unconscious of how great our need is.
If you don't believe me, consider the corollary: powering down our devices.
Who turns their phones off? Most of us never do. Psychologically, we believe leaving the power on will help us not to miss anything. Maybe we'll get an urgent text or call overnight. Perhaps a natural disaster or world event will go down and we don't want to be late to the party.
But we're not devices. We're people.
Rare is the person who consistently powers down their bodies.
The Silent Killers: Pride and Arrogance
Too many leaders think they're different. They believe it's weak to need sleep.
I know because I was that guy. I would humble-brag about my 4-6 hours per night.
Over the last two years, I've worked that number closer to 8. I've also never been more relaxed and productive. So here's my take: Ignore your recovery and you'll never be world-class.
Strength comes from taking responsibility for the you who shows up in the morning.
Want a no-brainer unfair advantage that you can take to the bank?
Note: I get that for some, this seems like wishful thinking. You have legit insomnia or something that messes with your ZZZzzs. I'm sorry. And… it's time to get after it again. It's worth the effort.
Do whatever it takes to start your day right, starting the night before.
Here's a no-brainer pathway to improve your end-of-day routine:
- Power your phone down one hour before bed.
- Buy an actual alarm clock and abolish your phone from your bedroom.
- Be absolutely religious about 1 and 2.
This dare to remove devices from where you sleep is like not eating dinner in your bathroom. It's digital hygiene. Once you realize how gross it is to do otherwise, you'll wonder how you lived another way.
Banning your phone from your prime time sleep space is just the beginning. Next time, I'll share my Top Ten (most-underrated) Ways to Make Your Life Better (by doing less).
P.S. For those who would love a sleep coach, you might want to consider Whoop. It's screenless and gives you concrete scientific data on the difference you're making. If you have one, let me know so we can connect there too.
P.P.S. This was Episode 10 of the Newsleader. Woohoo! I'm so grateful for your support and for all who've sent me personal encouragements. Thank you! For the rest, what's been helpful so far? What are you craving? Hit me up, fam. We're in this together.
Dane Sanders is CEO of TellMeYourDreams.com. His team of certified mental health professionals and coaches - trained in TMYD's motivation modality - offer workshops tailored for organizations looking to become great. Tom Rodriguez is TMYD's Chief Mental Health Officer. Comments, questions, and inquiries are always welcome at email@example.com.
This newsletter comes out every couple weeks. It's for leaders looking to build great companies - that's why we call it a newsleader. Think of it as a strategic one-pager that substantive enough to be interesting and practical enough that you'll actually do something with it. You're receiving it because you either signed up directly, subscribed to one of our initiatives in the past, or someone shared this with you (because they love you). If you'd like to receive your very own in the future, sign-up at tellmeyourdreams.com. All past posts are available here: https://danesanders.ck.page/posts
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