WORKPLACE / OCT. 13, 2014
version 6, draft 6

How More Sleep Can Improve Your Productivity


Sleep deprivation is a common problem among many workers all over the world. Many people work for long hours, juggle two or more jobs and take work home. Due to the increasing pressures of work, they find themselves sleeping less hours. Sleep deprivation can have several negative consequences:

  • Mood swings – People that don’t sleep enough are more likely to be impatient, depressed, anxious and irritable
  • Health complications – Sleep deprivation can lead to physical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and fatigue
  • Poor productivity – Workers that don’t get sufficient sleep find themselves struggling to stay awake at work. As a result, their productivity is hampered

Here are some of the benefits of a good night of sleep:

1. Sleep refreshes our bodies

Everyone has a body clock that tells them when they need to sleep. Repeatedly ignoring this clock will generate stress, which will lead to all kinds of medical problems. Sleep reduces the stress chemicals in our bodies, thus enhancing our metabolism and boosting our immune system. When you wake up, you will be recharged and ready to handle the day’s tasks and projects.

2. Sleep enhances our mental capacity

Besides physical renewal, sleep is also very important for refreshing the mind. When we sleep, our minds are actively processing all the experiences and information picked in the course of the day. Dreams are an important part of this process. After a good night of sleep, your mind is more prepared to learn new things and grow. Research has shown that people who sleep more are more creative and productive in the workplace.

3. Sleep recharges us emotionally

Being moody in the workplace will have a negative effect on our relationships with our colleagues. As a result, the productivity of the whole organization is affected. To avoid all these problems, it is important to get enough sleep. Sleeping well is like punching the reset button. When you wake up, you will feel more relaxed.

So what can you do to ensure better sleep for more productivity?

1. Adopt healthy sleep habits

If you want to sleep better, you will need to adopt some healthy sleep habits. To avoid interference, make sure your phone and computer are off. In addition, it would be advisable to sleep in a dark room. Avoid taking coffee just before going to bed since the caffeine might only keep you awake.

2. Revaluate your priorities

If you are suffering from sleep deprivation, it would be advisable to reconsider your priorities. How important are your goals compared to your health? It wouldn’t make sense to get ahead, and then spend all you get in hospital. Therefore, think of what can be changed to ensure that you get enough rest. You might need to let go of that extra job. Or negotiate with your employer for more flexible working hours.

3. Employer supported initiatives

If you are an employer, there are several things you could do to enhance employee productivity. For instance, you could allow nap breaks, offer exercise facilities or install bright lights at workstations. In addition, avoid the temptation of forcing your staff to work longer hours. Introducing alternative work schedules, including working from home, could also give your staff more time to rest.

The costs associated with sleep deprivation, including lost productivity, sick leave and medical expenses, are very high. Therefore, it is important to take measures to ensure that we get sufficient sleep.

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