I had a conversation with a friend about sleep. She’s reading Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. I haven’t read the book, but I’ve heard good things about it over the years and have it on my to-read list. She shared some of the things she’s learned. The gist of it is that sleep is important to the body and mind (e.g., decision-making). The things we put in our body can affect the quality of our sleep, which has a ripple effect. Changing time zones frequently also isn’t ideal for the body’s circadian rhythms.

When I first started my company, I didn’t make sleep a priority. I pulled all-nighters, functioned on four or five hours of sleep a night, and traveled a lot. I usually felt bad mentally and physically but pushed through it. Over time, I realized that sleeping and taking care of my body are important because they boost my energy level and mental clarity. I embraced an exercise routine and targeted seven to eight hours of sleep. These changes helped me feel better mentally and physically, which no doubt benefited my company too. I now make sleep a priority and have even done research to learn more about the optimal sleep situation for my body.

Working a hundred hours a week and getting minimal sleep is glorified in the start-up world, but the reality is that that’s awful for you mentally and physically. Every so often, when you’re pushing to get something important completed, it makes sense . . . but week in, week out—no. It leads to founder burnout and can lead to a burnout culture where you churn through good people. Let me be clear: I’m not saying you shouldn’t work hard. Hard work is critical to founder success, but hard work doesn’t have to equate to not taking care of yourself. The human body isn’t meant to go without adequate sleep for long periods of time. If it does, that shows up in other ways. I don’t have data on this, but I suspect that people who live this kind of lifestyle for years have success professionally but pay for it with more health challenges than others their age.

People think founders are superhuman, but they aren’t. They’re human. They get only one body just like everyone else. They have to take care of themselves, and sleep is a big part of doing so.