Sleep is crucial for productivity. People can claim to operate off no sleep, and that may work for them but there are mountains of new data that show that sleep is REQUIRED for moving things from short term to long term memory. It affects your immune system, your mental health, and your ability to concentrate.
At first glance I thought this question was kinda obvious but thinking on it, it's really not. If I get the recommended sleep for an adult every night I will not advance in my career. At best, I will be stagnant which is totally not what I'm trying to do. On the other hand, if I'm burning the midnight oil every night something is going to suffer during my normal 9-to-5 time. So for me, I have to find that balance. This week is a good example already. I went hard Sunday night on some learning and research. Monday night I was in before 11. I popped up at the crack of dawn today before my alarm clock so tonight I'll probably go hard again. This is all so I can advance. I know where I am, what I know, and I'm learning daily what I don't know. So in me trying to get somewhere in this tech space, I do make periodic sacrifices with sleep because there's just so many hours in the day, and we all get the same.
Keep in mind that if you are employed as a developer that learning and advancing are part of your daytime responsibilities. It was mentioned yesterday about taking on extra responsibilities and some of those extra responsibilities MUST include learning. DO NOT force all of your learning to be outside of the 9-5. That's going to burn you. If you have some stuff that has to be done outside of business hours then you should define how long that you are allowed to do this. That means setting a bedtime (even if it is an unhealthy one) and a deadline for when you MUST return to a normal routine.
Sleep is extremely important to not just productivity, but everything. There was a time in college I didn't get much sleep. Working til 1 in the morning,just to be back at work the next morning. Days would drag and nothing was done. When I quit that job I started to sleep in since classes were at 11:30 every day. Productivity and grades shot through the roof.
My productivity crashes when I start to doze off at the keyboard. So its VERY important. That being said, I'm usually good as long as I get 7 hours.
Contributors: Walker Laury, Corey McCarty, Dennis Kennetz, Lawrence Lockhart