The Margin: How to sleep like a boss

President Trump supposedly sleeps about four hours a night. If you find yourself uninspired by him, there’s data to support your position.

According to a study of 35,000 leaders posted on the Harvard Business Review, there is a direct link between getting plenty of sleep and leading effectively.

“Sleep-deprived leaders are less inspiring,” say Potential Project’s Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter, the authors of the report. “It used to be a badge of honor to brag about sleeping few hours, but our research should serve as inspiration for aspiring leaders to make sleep sacrosanct.”

It turns out that an increasing number of executive types are buying into that theory. The study found the more senior a person’s role, the more sleep they get.

“Either senior executives, with the help of assistants and hard-working middle managers, do less and take more time for sleep,” the authors explain. “Or senior executives have had the wisdom and discipline throughout their career to get enough sleep and thereby maintain a high performance level without burning out.”

But the rest of us, in general, simply aren’t catching enough winks.

“If you’re between the ages of 16 and 64, and don’t get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, your logical reasoning, executive function, attention, and mood can be impaired,” the authors wrote. “Worse, severe sleep deprivation can lead to depression, anxiety, and symptoms of paranoia.”

So how do we fix this? Here are four tips from the report:

1) Catch the melatonin wave — Hit the sack when the feeling strikes, and that’s usually between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. for most people.

2) Avoid screens — Put away the electronics at least 60 minutes before bed. The blue light keeps melatonin from working its natural magic.

3) Enjoy only perceptual activities 60 minutes before bed — Keep it simple. Avoid intense conversations, answering emails, working, and maybe even reading. Instead, take a walk or listen to music to “better catch the wave of melatonin.”

4) Avoid eating two hours before bed — Steering clear of caffeine is obvious, but, really, eating or drinking anything near bedtime can hurt your sleep because it activates the flow of blood and sugar, keeping your body and mind alert and awake.

Investors, especially, should follow these rules. Getting enough sleep is hard enough when the Dow DJIA, -1.50%  ISN’T logging triple-digit swings daily.

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