In modern societies, most people spend a lot of time working. Several surveys have found that people usually devote extra time to their work. For example, in the United States, an average workday lasts 9.5 hours. Additionally, it is customary for office workers to take some work tasks home with them.
All these practices come at a cost. In most cases, the ultimate result is that people sleep fewer hours.
On average, people sleep 1.5 hours less during workdays. The effects of this sleep-time reduction can be disastrous for a person’s health and mood. The resulting condition has a detrimental effect on productivity at work.
So, not only excessive work and stress can affect sleep, but also the lack of proper sleep can impact your work performance. When you do not sleep enough time, you usually feel tired at work. You cannot concentrate on important tasks and your creativity suffers.
So, you have to understand the connection between sleep and your performance at work. Otherwise, you can risk falling into an exhausting and unhealthy cycle: you sleep fewer hours because of work, and then you have to work extra hours to make up for your poor productivity.
To address this problem, people try to strike a balance between work and home life. It is not easy, but it is necessary to have a healthier life and be productive at work.
But not only have you to sleep the necessary time for your body to fully recover from a workday. You also have to sleep soundly during that time. Luckily, technology can help you to get the most out of your sleep hours. For example, adjustable beds offer the possibility to sleep in the most comfortable posture for each person. With the press of a button, one can adjust the height of the feet and head. Such devices provide ultimate comfort while sleeping.
But first, let us discuss the benefits of healthy sleep and the impact on your job performance.
What Happens When We Do Not Sleep Enough Hours
It is not a secret that we need to sleep for our body to rest from our daily activities. When you go to bed and close your eyes, your breathing slows down. Little by little, your muscles relax and your brain enters a sleeping state. Then, multiple biochemical processes begin, which ultimately lead your body to get the necessary rest. Without the proper rest, your immune and cardiovascular systems would suffer.
Unfortunately, the lack of sleep is a problem extended worldwide. For example, in the United States, nearly one-third of the population sleeps less than six hours. International organisms recommend sleeping between seven and nine hours to keep the body healthy. The consequences of not sleeping enough time affect directly a person’s performance at work. Common problems include:
- Difficulty to perform analytical tasks;
- Slow physical reactions;
- Bad mood and emotional fatigue.
This list includes short-term effects only. But any of the problems listed above can reduce your productivity significantly. However, failing to sleep enough time regularly can lead to more severe problems like the risk of developing obesity and cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and possibly dementia.
Negative Effects of Lack of Sleep on Job Performance
Let us review in more detail the negative effects of chronic sleep deprivation on job performance. Lack of sleep makes a person feel drowsy. If the said person tries to stay awake, he or she will use a lot of energy that reduces the ability to focus and be attentive.
These negative effects result from so-called microsleeps, which are short periods of mental non-responsiveness. Although microsleeps usually last between 0.5 and 1.5 seconds, they are long enough to cause a loss of attention.
In some specific jobs, loss of attention can be even dangerous. Machine operators, for example, cannot afford to make errors or omissions because of momentary loss of attention. For a surgeon, a slow reaction can endanger the life of a patient. In other jobs, the lack of attention can lead to not replying to the phone on time, not understanding some instructions, and more.
And there are also emotional negative effects. Workers that do not sleep well are usually angry and irritable at work. They are also more prone to develop stress. However, if sleep deprivation continues over a long time, a worker can develop more serious mental conditions. Anxiety and depression are common conditions resulting from prolonged lack of sleep.
How to Sleep Better and Improve Your Performance
If you have noticed that your productivity has decreased, you should check your sleeping habits. You need to make some changes in your life to get quality and healthy sleep. When you sleep like a bear, you will perform well at work, your reaction time will be minimal, and your mood will be bright. You will have the motivation to do all your tasks of a workday.
The following tips will help you to get better sleep.
- Get a comfortable bed. You need a high-quality mattress to get the necessary sleep. Also, consider investing in an adjustable bed so you can sleep in the most comfortable posture.
- Make sure the room temperature is adequate. Install a heater or a fan in the room if it is necessary.
- Create a bedtime routine. To sleep healthily, you should sleep consistently at the same time every day.
- Avoid daytime habits like taking naps if that disturbs your sleep routine.
- Prioritize your health. Many people sacrifice sleep to have the time for other activities. However, your health should always be your top priority. Think about whether you need to stay awake to watch that TV program, for example.
- Visit a doctor. If you think you have physiological problems falling asleep. A doctor can help you to create a plan to get healthy sleep. In some cases, the doctor can also detect any physiological problem that prevents you from getting the rest you need.
Keep in mind that loss of productivity has an enormous cost for employers. So, getting healthy sleep is a way of contributing to the success of your company.
Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.