Quality sleep is essential for a productive day. If you do not have enough sleep, it might cause changes in brain activity in some areas. When you suffer from sleep deprivation, you may have difficulty concentrating in accomplishing even the smallest of activities such as problem solving, effective decision making, emotional regulation, or coping with change. If it goes on for quite some time, sleep deprivation may have serious repercussions for your career, which is why you need to know how to regulate your sleep to boost productivity.
How Sleep Affects Productivity
Have you ever had a crummy night of sleep and your work suffered the next day? Those who are sleep deficient have issues completing tasks on time, make mistakes more often, and have lower reaction times. If you are losing 1-2 hours of sleep over a few days, your functionality will suffer as if you haven’t slept for 2 days straight. In some cases, you can suffer from microsleep, which is a brief moment of sleep that happens when you are normally awake.
Poor sleep can lead to a magnitude of issues that include, but are not limited to:
A lot of people don’t even realize they are sleep deficient because they are so used to not sleeping and still being able to function, even though they aren’t doing it well. Harvard research study showed that the average worker misses 11.3 days worth of productivity each year, which is equivalent to $2,280, roughly. If you think about it, a large number of employees, let’s say 15, would lose almost 170 days of productivity. Nationally, there is a loss of $63.2 billion in productivity, which is a huge problem. With performance significantly affected by sleep quality, long-term sleep deprivation could mean the difference between getting a promotion or getting fired.
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The Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Innovation
The area of your brain that affects innovation is the prefrontal cortex. When you are lacking sleep, it can affect this region of your brain. A study found that if you lose even 24 hours of sleep over a few nights, it can have a huge impact on thinking and flexible decision making. If you are no longer innovative, it could prove damaging to meet objectives of the organization you serve or to your own business.
If your brain function isn’t working at its best, you are not going to be as productive as you could be, while you are at work. Not to mention, you’re more likely to snap at coworkers, experience a mood swing, thus leaving your office relationship at stake. In other words, it makes for a very stressful day.
Lack of sleep can also lead to a number of other mental health issues such as depression, risk-taking behaviours, and even suicide. You could also find it more difficult to cope with change, and feel angry or impulsive all the time. When you do finally sleep, your brain can form new pathways to help you remember information and learn, which is why you should not miss out on a sound sleep every night.
Managing Sleep Habits
Your sleep habits say a lot about how well or unwell you sleep. If you are staying up late at night and not paying any attention to what time it is, you’re very likely to stay up for most of the night and only get a few hours of sleep.
Your best bet is to make sure that your mattress is comfortable enough for you, if you think it’s the reason why you are not sleeping and you need to shut off all the electronics at least an hour before bed. This will help your brain wind down and the lack of light from the screens will tell your brain that it’s time for sleep. You could also try some breathing exercises or do yoga. There are wonderful articles all over the Internet, which advise on a lot of yoga poses for better sleep.
It is also important that you limit food and drinks before bed, especially coffee and alcohol. The alcohol may put you to sleep, but it won’t be deep and you’ll more likely feel even worse in the morning. Once you find yourself in a good routine, you will be sleeping much better and your productivity will increase at work.
Sleep and productivity go hand in hand. We all know that sometimes it can be tough to get a great night’s sleep, especially if you have a lot on your mind. The average adult should get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night in order to feel rested the next day. This might seem tough in our hectic work lives, but as mentioned earlier, if you get yourself into a good routine and on a comfortable bed, you will have no problems entering a deep slumber each night.
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