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To perform better, sleep better

I help businesses and leaders improve their performance through advice on sleep management. Personalized assessments, policy recommendations and sleep education through workshops are fundamental to achieving improved effectiveness.

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Sleep workshops

In my sleep workshops I explain why sleep management is so important to leaders and organizations. I explain why we sleep, what happens when you don’t get enough sleep: short and long term consequences for your health and performance, how it works (different types of sleep and the role of the biological clock) and practical tips on how to improve your sleep.

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About me

Els van der Helm

I am a sleep adviser coaching businesses and leaders on how to improve effectiveness, health and engagement through better sleep management. For over 2.5 years I worked as a management consultant at McKinsey where I combined my passion for leadership development and sleep management. I developed and facilitated training programs for both McKinsey consultants and clients. Based on research on leaders across the world I published an article that was featured in Harvard Business Review and the McKinsey Quarterly. Prior to joining McKinsey I extensively researched sleep: during my Master’s in Neurosciences I studied the effect of sleep on memory (Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences) and emotional processing (Harvard Medical School). As a Fulbright scholar I studied the effects of sleep on the brain during my PhD in Psychology (University of California Berkeley) resulting in peer-reviewed articles in Current Biology, PLoS One, Psychological Bulletin, SLEEP, PNAS and several book chapters.


Many of us live by the slogan of “work hard, play hard” in our hyper-connected 24/7 world, where our demanding lives keep us glued to digital screens. In this talk I outline why your slogan should be changed to “work hard, play hard, AND sleep hard”! Whilst we spend a third of our lives asleep, most of us have no idea what happens in our brain while we’re unconscious. In this talk i share what science has taught us about the benefits of sleep and why you should place sleep back on top of your priority list.

In this McKinsey Quarterly article we outline the importance of sleep to organizations and focus on the effect of sleep on critical leadership behaviors. We discuss specific actions business can take such as sleep- awareness and training programs, changes in policy and culture shifts required.

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