Want to be smarter, more creative, more motivated? Get enough sleep!

Have you heard them bragging about it? Managers, workers and business people of all stripes are telling about their 16-hour days. They try to make it sound like a way to get ahead.

Inc. Magazine’s Jason Fried thinks this message is one of the most harmful in all business. He says sustained exhaustion is a mark of stupidity. Scientists agree, saying IQ scores decline on each successive day you sleep less than you naturally would.

People pulling 16-hour days are exhausted. They’re too tired to notice that their work has suffered because of it, and their sleep debt compromises their health and creativity. And it affects people around them. The sleep deprived are ruder, less tolerant, less understanding, and they can’t concentrate for sustained periods of time.

New workers and managers say when just getting started, they have to give it all they’ve got. But Fried says that the problem is that once started, they get in the habit and don’t stop working that way. Even though they have seen many entrepreneurs and managers burn out following this pattern, they may continue to do it.

When you get plenty of sleep, you’ll think better and be a better colleague and boss.

One reason: your brain is still active at night. It works through matters you can’t address during the day. You can wake up with new solutions to problems.

In the long run, work is not more important than sleep. If you don’t believe it, Fried says to consider this: You’ll die faster without sleep than you will without food.

Nearly everything can wait until morning when you’ll be well rested and able to be a creative problem solver.