In “Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer” (Harvard Business Review, October 2006), Bronwyn Fryer interviews Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In answer to one of Bronwyn’s questions, Dr. Czeisler says:
It amazes me that contemporary work and social culture glorifies sleeplessness in the way we once glorified people who could hold their liquor. We now know that 24 hours without sleep or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1%. We would never say, “This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time!” yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep. The analogy to drunkenness is real because, like a drunk, a person who is sleep deprived has no idea how functionally impaired he or she truly is.
Sleep is a biologic necessity. You cannot cheat it, get around it, evade it, ignore it, without bad consequences. Please sleep. You will be better for it.