A high proportion of investment professionals are chronically sleep-deprived without necessarily being aware of the fact. It’s a serious issue because insufficient sleep increases your risks of an array of nasty physical ailments.
Lack of decent sleep also correlates closely with emotional disturbances such as anxiety and depression. Too many people in the industry attempt to deal with this by self-medicating with sedatives (like alcohol or sleeping pills to try to sleep) and stimulants (like caffeine to try to wake up, or cocaine to sharpen up). Sometimes there are short-term benefits but often the longer term result is an amplification of the initial problem. What starts out as a relatively minor disturbance can become a major wobble.
Some of the most effective psychological tortures involve sleep deprivation, which is used with the express intention of rendering the victim mentally disoriented and undefended. If the torture is prolonged, sleep deprivation can cause a collapse in the victim’s existing psychological structures and can lead to full-blown psychosis.
But well before reaching the stage of having a psychotic episode, even mild sleep deprivation causes impaired cognitive functioning by creating deficits in attention and working memory. You simply can’t think well if you haven’t had proper sleep. And if you can’t think well, you put your clients’ financial health and your own career at risk.
World-renowned sleep scientist, Matthew Walker, sets out the case for proper sleep in his compelling book, Why We Sleep. Getting sufficient quantity and quality of sleep has an array of benefits:
- Cognitive. Enhanced memory and creativity
- Emotional. Reduced depression and anxiety
- Physical. Lowered risks of heart disease, cancer and dementia.
Be good to yourself. You’ll give your biological and professional life a major boost if you give yourself a decent sleep opportunity each night.
- How many hours’ sleep do you get a night?
- What’s the quality of that sleep?
- What might you do differently to improve matters?