Executive health: Sleep and Success – the power of the all-nighter

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See Wikipedia:Sleep deprivation). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Defying conventional wisdom on occasion may just be the best bet for your career.

It appears that sleep which has been oft-touted as essential, should be put on hold on occasions when creativity is much needed, and can only be obtained at the high point of one’s circadian rhythm. It was observed in research that tired subjects were “significantly better at solving problems, while just as effective at solving other, less creative tasks.”

The explanation for this phenomenon lies in the efficient vs creative argument. When efficiency is needed, a good rest is needed. But when creativity is required, perhaps an all-nighter may well be the key to unlocking the box.

A 2009 Harvard Medical School study found that even with over 30 hours of sleep deprivation, university students were no less effective than their well-rested counterparts at a variety of cognitive tests having to do with language, logic, and comprehension.

In conclusion, for short-term boosts in creativity that contribute to valued projects that will accelerate your career, all-nighters are a good thing. Beyond that, rest enough, because life is a marathon, not a 100m dash.

Read the original article at: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/06/18/do-successful-people-need-sleep/?mod=e2tw

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