My name is Bo Parfet and I am the co-founder and CEO of Denali Venture Philanthropy (Denali), an impact investment organization that works to build strong portfolios while helping scale businesses that focus on driving social change and environmental impact.

Prior to Denali, I worked as a financial analyst on Wall Street. My professional career quickly bled into my personal life and I found myself living a rather unhealthy lifestyle while attempting to earn success. Success, by definition, is earning a favorable or desirable outcome, often thought of in the context of attaining wealth.

As I have matured and developed, I now know that success should be thought of in a holistic sense. We simply cannot be successful, at least sustainably, if we are neglecting to see the larger picture. I have learned to take care of myself in mind, body, and spirit. In that sense, I find that I can be a better leader, making more informed decisions to lead my business and my team to greater success.

As an entrepreneur, passionate volunteer, and world explorer, I am constantly on the go. I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people, learning about new entrepreneurial ventures, and collaborating with groups around the world. I maintain my physical and mental health through a regimen of daily exercise and a healthy diet, though one area that I have not given heed to until lately is my sleep schedule.

We constantly hear that sleep is important for our bodies and our brain to repair and replenish, but when time is of the essence, the first thing we cut is our sleep, thinking that we will be more productive if we can simply get in a few more hours of work. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If we reduce and withhold time our bodies vitally need to rest and repair, we inadvertently build up unnecessary stressors leading to unwanted weight gain, mental fatigue, and general feelings of despair. 

If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or leader that wants to be more focused, productive, and achieving, read below about a few key benefits of getting a good night’s rest.

Good sleep leads to improved cognition.

Whether you are a business leader or you are climbing your way up the proverbial corporate ladder, my number one piece of advice is to take time out for yourself. It is easy to get burnt out, leading to decreased productivity, or worse, unnecessary mistakes. 

Good sleep has been linked to improved concentration and higher cognitive function, helping you to become a thought leader, and helping you make informed decisions to propel yourself to greater heights in your career.

A well-rested body improves athletic performance.

I am an entrepreneur, naturalist, and explorer. My greatest athletic feat is having accomplished the Seven Summits, scaling the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents. I learned early in my training that adequate sleep can make or break your success at reaching the peak. 

Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your overall strength and power. Whether you are climbing mountains, lifting weights, or simply carrying around and playing with a couple of kids all day, the better you sleep, the more energy you will have and the stronger you will feel to face the challenges that inevitably come your way.

Sleep reduces your risk for developing chronic conditions.

Poor sleep has been linked to an increased risk of developing depressive thoughts and symptoms, developing Type II diabetes, and increasing your risk of stroke and other heart conditions. 

This review of various studies shows scientific links between lack of sleep and increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

Success does not come easy. There will likely be sleepless nights in your future, but if you create simple healthy habits now, in particular ensuring that you get adequate sleep, you will find it is easier to get back on track to living your life fully with vitality and purpose.

Follow Bo on his Website and Medium