Science has produced a strong body of evidence showing how lack of sleep impairs not only a variety of bodily functions, but also cognitive processes such as memory and executive control.
“There does not seem to be one major organ within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally enhanced by sleep (and detrimentally impaired when we don’t get enough),” says Matthew P. Walker, a cognitive psychologist who heads the University of California, Berkeley’s (UCB) Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, in his book Why we sleep: Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams.
Through the WI lens
Many high achievers see sleep as a complete waste of time, but a spate of new books and academic articles have recently shown that nothing could be further from the truth. A lack of sleep not only impairs a variety of bodily functions, but also negatively affects cognitive processes such as memory and executive control.
As one leading academic quoted in the article says: “There does not seem to be one major organ within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally enhanced by sleep (and detrimentally impaired when we don’t get enough).” This helps understand why the quality of sleep is becoming such a critical offering within the hospitality industry, well beyond the boundaries of luxury hotels. More and more, customers base their decisions on where to stay depending on this. A spate of technological solutions (to prepare for the night, to control noise emissions in the room, etc.) is developing around that offering.
What this article goes on to explain is how positive thinking – described here as ‘thriving’ – can counter the effects that come from the negativity outlined above, from reduced memory to diminished performance. Based on studying people in a series of organisations in different industries, one of the authors has found that people who attain this state are more resilient, experience less burnout, and are more confident in their ability to take control of a situation
“Behind the jargon what this is really about is how we address the challenge of biodiversity under threat, move away from fossil materials like plastic and concrete, and use nature in a sustainable way, all of which could be summed up by “living in harmony with nature”.”
“In the new ‘consensual contract’ between employer and worker, what’s required is a commitment from the employer to safeguard the wellbeing of their people, and a commitment in return from employees to take personal responsibility for their performance of their job.”
“Could loneliness not only be damaging our mental and physical health but also be making the world a more aggressive, angry place? And if so, what are the implications for a cohesive society and democracy?”
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”