Studies using positron-emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain have shown severely reduced function in sleep-deprived humans in the prefrontal cortex (the executive center), which, among other things, is responsible for planning, creative problem solving, information processing, decision-making, and effective communication. It is also responsible for accurate self-assessment, which unfortunately makes us unaware of this severe handicap. To make matters worse, amygdala (the fear center) shows increased activity, which puts the leader in fight-or-flight mode as opposed to collaborate-and-create mode. It also leads to lower goal setting, secondary to a heightened fear of failure. If you add a tiny structure located at the base of the cerebral cortex (suprachiasmatic nucleus) to this mix, you have a severely suboptimal leadership at its best and disastrous leadership at its worst. Suprachiasmatic nucleus, the circadian pacemaker, makes us sleepy at night and, unfortunately, in the afternoon as well. This afternoon sleepiness gets worse with mounting sleep debt further affecting our leadership function.
This blog aims to educate its readers about importance of sound sleep of sufficient duration when it comes to leadership and life itself. And when sleep deprivation is unavoidable, it provides tools and technique one can use to maximize alertness, and then to leverage it to maximize emotional intelligence and information management. It takes the concept further by adding selflessness and spirituality to maximize our God-given potential using AEI∞ model of Supreme Leadership.