Triiing!!! A high-pitch sound of your alarm goes on. One more day to be filled with joy and hard work, one more day to work towards your career and goal. And yet – there you are, half-awake with a fuzzy feeling and aching body after pulling an all-nighter to finish the report assigned by your boss.
Sleep often becomes the first thing to give up for a busy life. In order to finish all the assigned tasks or to get that promoted position, employees choose to sacrifice their sleep time and quality. A study from National Sleep Foundation found that an average 4.5 hours are spent by employees to finish their job at home, with 20 percent of respondents cited they spend at least 10 hours or more working at home. The study concluded that this behaviour happens due to employees are feeling less productive at work and prefer to bring their job at home, only to have it interfere with their sleep. Consequently, voluntary and without their concern, their behaviour is going in the cycle such as seen in the following diagram.
Moreover, although it is true that everyone has different sleeping behaviour, many experts suggested that it is best to follow a regular sleeping schedule. For example, if you set your sleeping time at 10 pm and wake up time at 6 am, as best as possible, you should follow the schedule regularly. By following your sleeping schedule, you will less likely to suffer from sleeping deprivation.
What can sleep deprivation do to our mind and body?
When dealing with such an unhealthy cycle, you will eventually find that your productivity and performance are hampering. This is what the ordinary cause of sleep deprivation can do to your career and body. Yet, more than declining performance and productivity, a lack of sleep impairs your brain function across the broad, a western Medical Herbalist, Renée Leonard-Stainton said. It can slow your ability to process information and solve problems. It can dampen your creativity while increasing your stress level and emotional reactivity as well.
Moreover, Christopher Barnes, an associate professor at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, cited in his study that having not enough sleep cannot only reduce your productivity but also affect those around you. Lack of sleep will not just give negative result to the victim, but most likely to the people around them. For example, when a manager does not have enough sleep, they will likely change his behaviour and/or create a low quality of employee measurements.
Sleep-deprived leaders are more impatient, irritable, and antagonistic which resulted in a worse relationship. Therefore, “when managers lose sleep, their employees’ experiences and output are diminished too,” wrote Barnes.
What to do, then?
The solution is quite simple: having enough sleep. Furthermore, unhealthy behaviour and lifestyle are also among factors you should adapt to change your sleeping behaviour. According to a BBC report, Katie Hope surveyed that getting more sleep can turn one’s individuals life around, from unproductive with annoying behaviour to a loving and supportive person. In her survey, Hope found that productivity level of those sleeping between seven and eight hours a night was significantly better than those who slept less than five hours a night.
If you are having a hard time to shut your eyes, then changing your lifestyle can be helpful. In today’s tech-powered daily activity, relaxation and mindfulness meditation exercises are two vital aspects to lower your anxiety and bring serenity back, making you easier to fall asleep. Limit the use of smartphones and other screens at night because the blue light of screens can interfere with your brain function and make it hard for you to have a night of quality sleep. You can switch to book or writing on your paper journal if you need to jot down some important things, instead. All in all, you should remember that a great career begins with a good quality of sleep.
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