How getting a full night's sleep is good for business

It's not easy to get those eight hours a day.

Image of Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep
Author: David K. Randall
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (2012)
Binding: Hardcover, 304 pages

We're almost to the weekend. And if you're like lots of us, you're looking to catch up on some sleep. We spend a third of our lives doing it -- or at least, we're supposed to. Eight hours a night -- we've been hearing that for years, but come on -- who can do that?

David Randall is making the latest push to convince us. He's a senior reporter for Reuters. And he's got a new book called Dreamland: Adventures on the Strange Science of Sleep.

We don't typically associate success in business or politics with always getting a full night's sleep. In fact, most of the time, it's just the opposite, or so we think. But Randall argues, that is a myth, though a long-standing one. 

"Thomas Edison thought that the longer you were exposed to artificial lights, the longer you stayed up, you were basically like a factory, and that's how you could produce the best work," Randall says.

"But research has shown that we don't produce our best work that way. We can generally go one day or two days with six hours of sleep or less. It's when it becomes a chronic thing -- that's when it starts to eat into our performance."

Hear more in our audio above.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.
Image of Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep
Author: David K. Randall
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (2012)
Binding: Hardcover, 304 pages

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