Thomas Mechtersheimer is the Founder and Executive Chairman of neuroCare, who has spoken with both our Brisbane and Sydney boards on the importance of sleep. While we hear stories about successful business people only needing to sleep four hours a night, Thomas assures that’s not the norm nor something that can be maintained long-term. In fact, Entrepreneurs are high performers and just like athletes would, we need to dedicate time to recovery. Thomas explains;
Medical experts push exercise and good diet as key to maintaining our health but what often goes overlooked is the importance of sleep in the mix of all things we do to stay healthy. When it comes to high performing people like athletes or indeed entrepreneurs, sleep is a vastly underestimated key to maintaining good cognitive performance and resilience and there is a lot to be gained from taking a closer look at our quality of sleep and wake routines.
The science of sleep
Quality sleep is necessary, restorative, and promotes muscle recovery and energy replenishment1. Sleep helps brain cells ‘re-set’2 and clears toxins3. It helps us remember new information4 and optimize next-day performance5. Poor sleep is annually responsible for 1.23 million missed work days, costing an estimated at $411 Billion6. An estimated 1.5 million Australian (8.9% of the population7) have a sleep disorder.
Sleeps relation to Anxiety and Depression
People often think sleep disorders are a symptom of Anxiety or Depression, but studies show insomnia is more likely to cause symptoms of depression than the other way around. We also know that people who sleep less than the required 7 to 8 hours (for adults) often don’t notice that their energy and cognitive performance is lower, which means sleep issues are more common than you think.
Why sleep is so important for Entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs often push themselves into situations where they are the expert, the decision maker and the stress diffuser – for days on end. Entrepreneurs carry the full weight, being the person where the buck stops (and literally with their own money). These serious mental stress factors are a recipe for poor sleep quality and therefore mental instability, so this is a concern which really needs to be taken much more seriously.
The leading scientists who work with us at neuroCare point to Sleep Hygiene as the key to mental resilience and warn that pills are not the solution. Medications often produce next-day drowsiness, can lead to non-restorative sleep, not to mention the risk of serious, debilitating addiction or overuse.
We educate patients on the impact of blue spectrum light in their environment and help them to understand the importance of the circadian rhythm. This is a much more targeted approach leading and form part of our sleep hygiene programs.
As well as sleep hygiene maintenance, we recommend Neurofeedback training to people with sleep disorders or who want to improve their cognitive performance and resilience. By personalising the therapy, neuroCare methods have a recorded positive effect in more than 70%, following protocols proven to improve sleep onset and quality. Neurofeedback has also been scientifically proven to improve symptoms of ADHD such as focus and concentration and can be used in peak performance training, without the need of medication and with sustainable, long-lasting benefits.
Written by Thomas Mechtersheimer, Founder & Executive Chairman of neuroCare Group. To find out more about their therapy programs in Australia visit neurocareclinics.com.au or to learn more about neuroCare, visit neurocaregroup.com
- Bonnar et al. 2018
- Vyazovsky et al. 2011
- Xie et al. 2013
- Stickgold, 2005
- Belenky et al. 2003
- Rand Europe, 2017
- Deloitte Access Economics findings