How to achieve high-quality rest by Alain Liebaert

By Guest Contributor Alain Liebaert

In life, and in business more generally, many failures find their origin in tired, overstressed people. The problem isn’t always the quantity of sleep, but the quality.

It’s proven that if we are actively concentrating and effectively busy for more than eight hours, our performance begins to deteriorate rapidly. In today’s busy world most of us work for too many hours and sleep for too few. But our bodies and minds need time and quality rest to be able to cope with all the stress, act swiftly without hesitation and stay alert for a long time.

I know sometimes the workload is so huge and it’s tempting to work for 16 hours straight in order to finish it all but, believe me, you probably won’t be satisfied with the final results. You have to give your body time to recover from the exhaustion and not overload it at once. Try to finish all of that work in two days instead, having a quality rest in between, and see how your results will improve.

Having a quality rest though is easier said than done. Here’re a few tips that work very well for me and can massively help you as well:

1. Don’t keep any electronics in the bedroom: no phones, computers or televisions. This is very important!

2. Sports and physical activity can dramatically increase the quality of your sleep. You will fall into deep sleep sooner and recuperate faster. Do some light physical activity in the evening before you go to sleep – even a 30-minute walk with the dog will help. Anything too heavy will raise your heart rate and temperature, thereby jeopardizing sound sleep.

3. Don’t do stressful things just before going to bed. Anything like reading company reports or discussing sensitive topics is a recipe for a disastrous night.

4. Go to bed at a time that will allow you to get enough sleep. For example, if I go to bed before 11 pm, I know this will allow me to get the necessary eight hours of sleep (plus some time to actually fall asleep) before I need to get up in the morning.

5. If you have a partner, go to sleep at the same time as them. This might be a challenge to begin with, but after a while, you’ll be in sync and fall asleep together. Too many couples go to bed at different times, thereby disrupting each other’s sleep cycle.


Alain Liebaert started his career as a management consultant, specializing in reorganizing companies on a ‘no cure, no pay’ basis. Following the death of his father, Alain entered the family business – Liebaert Textiles – and eventually became CEO, where he turned the business around in a declining market. After 30 challenging years, he left the family business in the capable hands of his children (the fifth generation), only to return to his old love of management consulting. 

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