This is a serious question for those of you that have been in the industry for a while (or just generally don't get very much sleep for whatever reason). Have you started feelings the effects (or believe there will be effects) of long term sleep deprivation? Not talking about a couple weeks where you get crushed but more just being in finance for several years.
I've been working in the industry for a couple years now consistently getting ~5-6 hours a night on the weekdays, and I wouldn't call those hours quality sleep either. To give you a sense of my schedule these days:
- Wake up and snooze from ~7-8:30AM (usually wake up around 7 to check emails real quick and then go back to sleep if nothing urgent).
- In office ~9AM
- Get off work anywhere between 10PM - 1AM
- Couple times a week, I'll go to the gym after work (~11PM - 1AM)
- Sleep around 2AM - 3AM
- I usually sleep quite a bit on the weekends to recover from the week but I don't think that's necessarily a great solution
As you can see, not exactly a great quality of sleep. I think part of it is waking up intermittently to check emails, and I think exercising before bed may be compounding the poor sleep quality problem as well. In any case, I've been feeling like my memory is getting progressively worse, new concepts don't "click" as easily as they used to (and it's harder to remember them later), have a hard time focusing, etc.
I know the obvious answer is of course poor sleep is going to lead to these symptoms. If you pull an all nighter (or a couple in a row), your brain just can't frankly function correctly. But at the same time, how much sleep are people really consistently getting a night? I don't think we live in a world where 7 or 8 hours is the norm, especially in banking or even most buyside jobs (macro traders...good luck).
I am starting to feel concerned about my mental health. I wasn't the smartest guy in college, but I do feel a significant deterioration in my brain's ability to learn and retain new information compared to before. This wasn't an issue when during my first year analyst banking days. I was sleeping closer to 4-5 hours and the thought of "losing" my brain never even crossed my mind. Curious if anyone else has experienced similar effects of being in the industry for a while.