How Does Sleep Affect Your Workday?

Many of us know that when you haven’t gotten enough sleep the night before, getting work done becomes way more difficult. When you’re drowsy, your brain is not as creative and won’t process information as quickly or retain important facts. As work becomes more stressful and life gets busier, adequate sleep is often the first thing that people give up, even though it should be a higher priority.

Without a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night, the effects of sleep deprivation become noticeable. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, even at an average of 6.5 hours of sleep per night, many survey respondents reported a poorer workplace performance due to tiredness, with over half admitting to struggling to stay focused in meetings, taking longer to complete tasks, and finding it challenging to generate new ideas. Along with a lack of focus and diminished creative capacities, participants also indicated a reduced motivation to learn and being less able to manage competing demands.

The overall effect of people getting less sleep appears to be contributing to a less productive workforce. According to the National Sleep Foundation, professionals spend an average of 4.5 hours working at home each week, which suggests that this could be a cycle where workers are less productive during business hours because they didn’t get enough sleep, so they have to bring work home, to the continued detriment of their sleep. Additionally, in the long term, sleeping less than five hours or more than 10 hours a night is associated with staying home sick for 4.6 to 8.9 more days than people who sleep between seven and eight hours a night. This link “remained even after health and other key factors assumed to affect the association between sleep and sickness absence had been accounted for.”

Getting a good night’s sleep may not seem very important when you’re overwhelmed with the busyness of work, family, and a social life, but not getting enough sleep could have a negative impact on your work performance and your health. Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep per night so you can continue to feel and do your best!

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