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SLEEP BETTER TO PERFORM BETTER

SLEEP AND PERFORMANCE

SLEEP AND CAREER—DEBUNKING THE MYTHS

Dr. med Lutz Grauman, Phd & specialist in sports medicine, nutrition and chirotherapy and member of the Dagsmejan medical advisory board, debunks the common myths and share the real story behind how sleep impacts our career.

EXPERT ADVICE

The impact of a healthy restorative sleep on your career

There are still a lot of myths around the quality and the quantity of sleep needed to be able to perform at our best. But one quote by Bill Clinton illustrates the impact sleep has on our performance. When Barack Obamas was elected into office Bill Clinton was asked what his number one advice to him was. His answer? Don’t take any decisions when you are tired. In his long career he only made terrible mistakes when he was working too hard and sleeping too little. There is a direct correlation between the occurrence mistakes and problems and sleep deprivation.

Let’s look at the myths surrounding sleep and performance:

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1. I CAN LEARN TO GET BY WITH LITTLE SLEEP

A lot of consultants still think that they can learn to get by with little sleep. A survey with a big consultancy group showed that half of the consultants slept 5 hours or less during the week.

However, we know from human physiology that we need at least 6 hours of high quality sleep to have a normal next day, not even a high performing next day. If you are sleep deprived for more than 2 days it’s equivalent to be drunk.

That’s why high performers, such as Jeff Bezos, prioritize getting at least 8 hours of sleep very night.

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2. EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM

The second myth to bust is that only the early bird catches the bird. A lot of young managers still think that they have to be the first in the office and the last one to leave. They wear their long office hours as a badge of honor but that’s not how it works.

We need to understand our own circadian rhythm to be at our creative best. That might mean coming in later in the morning if we are more of a night owl.

We can’t do creative work during 12 hours, performance at the workplace is not a linear thing but rather an oscillation curve where we have ups and downs during the day.

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3. RECOVERY BREAKS ARE FOR LOSERS

Some people still think that recovery breaks are for losers but studies show that it’s the opposite.

Anders Eriksson did research for over 10 years on high performance individuals from different fields- sports, business and the creative arts. He measured a number of variables and 2 things stood out as a commonality for high performers. The first one was deliberate practice, they deliberately work on things that they are not yet good at as part of a growth mindset.

The second variable that high performers have in common is that the find a way to integrate power naps into their everyday rhythm. They bring down their automatic nervous system to rest and digest the learnings from the morning so that they are available for the afternoon hours.

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Sleep better with high performance sleepwear

Discover what smart pajamas can do for your sleep quality. By keeping the best temperature for sleep we can enjoy a deeper and longer sleep. Temperature fluctuations impact in particular our deep sleep phases negatively, lowering our sleep quality. 

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