Is not getting enough sleep affecting your work?

a girl who is not getting enough sleep trying to sleep on a couch

You’ve heard it from your mom. You’ve heard it from your doctor. You know sleep is important. But on those nights that you have a bit more prep to finish before your early meeting, or your friends are texting you to come join them for a round at the bar, getting a little extra shuteye suddenly doesn’t seem so critical. I mean, a little coffee is all you’ll need to make it through work tomorrow, right?

Not Getting Enough Sleep Affects Your Work

Coffee may get you through your workday when you’ve had a late night, but continual lack of sleep is linked to poor productivity, as well as mental and physical health problems.

A 2012 study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found, unsurprisingly, that the longer a sleep-deprived person is awake, the more slowly they complete their work. Even more importantly, the study determined that work performance gets progressively worse over time when a person continually gets too little sleep.

Getting just an hour less of optimal sleep can increase the risk for symptoms of depression, hopelessness, nervousness, and feeling restless or fidgety by 60% to 80%.

Recent data shows that getting just an hour less of optimal sleep (7-9 hours each night) can increase the risk for symptoms of depression, hopelessness, nervousness, and feeling restless or fidgety by 60% to 80%. Sleep deprivation can also lead to increased appetite and overeating, higher blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack.

If that’s not enough to convince you to get more sleep, let’s talk money: A recent report from the Rand Corporation states that the U.S. loses up to $411 billion in revenue a year – that’s 2.28% of the nation’s gross domestic product – due to insufficient sleep. The lower productivity linked to sleep deprivation results in an estimated 1.2 million lost workdays annually. So when you’re sluggishly plodding through your workday, you could be affecting your employer’s bottom line.

How to Get More Sleep

With all the demands on your time, it may seem impossible to sneak in a few more winks. Here’s some tips on getting the most out of your sleep time.

  • Create and stick to a sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends) helps to regulate your body’s internal clock.
  • Find a relaxing bedtime ritual. A peaceful routine at the end of your day can help you de-stress. Just few minutes of yoga or quiet reading can do the trick.
  • Use technology – but not too much. Fitness tracker devices and apps can monitor your sleep patterns and help you take steps to improve them. But don’t spend time in front of screens right before bed. The blue light emitted by electronic devices can throw off your circadian rhythm.

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just good for you, it’s good for your career, too. Start becoming a healthier, more productive employee tonight.