We often talk about the foundational selling skills that are essential for sales success, but there is nothing more fundamental to our professional performance than our physical and emotional health, and our sleep habits have a dramatic impact on both. We've always known that sleep is good for our body and mind, but new research is continually bringing compelling data on just how harmful sleep deprivation is on cognitive performance throughout your day. In the Success Magazine article, Sleep Deprivation is Killing You and Your Career, author and emotional intelligence expert Travis Bradberry documents the scope and impact of not getting enough sleep, as well as strategies for improving sleep. It is worth reading the entire article. Here we share key highlights, including the harmful effects of sleep deprivation:

  1. Linked to a myriad of serious health issues, including heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
  2. Increases risk of disease because it compromises the immune system.
  3. Makes you look older due to excess cortisol that breaks down skin collagen.
  4. Promotes obesity by compromising your body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and control food intake.
  5. Causes a buildup of toxic proteins in your brain cells.

If the physical risks aren't compelling enough, consider the functional ramifications: sleep deprivation impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and spikes your stress levels and emotional reactivity. Consider the impact of diminished performance on this front in your daily sales life. Problem solving, creativity, emotional resilience‚ sales professionals need every advantage we can get and that means functioning at full capacity every single day. We face enough challenges that are beyond our control, but sleep is one performance factor we can, and should, optimize.

Read the entire Travis Bradberry article, including tips to improve your quantity and quality of sleep: Sleep Deprivation Is Killing You and Your Career.