As anyone who has napped in their car during their lunch break or in a “critical” meeting knows, sleep deprivation can negatively affect performance at work. Being sleep-deprived slows you down and makes it more difficult to focus on important tasks.
Sacrificing sleep for work and then working much harder to compensate for lost productivity, is a draining cycle. Knowing the links between sleep and work performance could help people break this cycle.
Work Performance and Sleep Loss
People who are sleep-deprived are likely to make more mistakes and omissions than those who are not sleep-deprived. Sleepiness is associated with a twofold greater risk of being injured at work. Sleep deprivation can make us angry and irritable during the workday. Also, poor sleep increases the risk of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
In the end, fatigue has a massive economic impact and costs billions of dollars for employers each year. It has proven to have substantial negative effects on employee motivation, performance, and healthcare costs. The annual cost of fatigue at work to U.S. companies is around $136.4 billion dollars.
In fact, sleep deprivation has been linked with several infamous workplace accidents in recent times, including the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It is, therefore, crucial to get quality sleep regardless of the industry in which people work.
How to Improve Work Performance with Better Sleep
Sleep loss can make you feel tired all the time at work. Getting consistent, quality sleep might be the answer to making you work better. Here are a few tips to help you get better sleep:
Prioritize Your Nighttime Routine
If you routinely skip sleep to finish work, watch TV, or socialize, you might want to rethink your priorities. Healthy sleep habits make sleep more enjoyable. Create a nighttime routine consistent with your sleep-wake cycle. A few examples are, taking a warm shower, reading a book, as well as making your bedroom environment cool and conducive for better sleep.
Rethink Your Work Schedule
Especially with the latest technological advances, it is no doubt much more difficult to manage a sleep-wake cycle in a time when people can’t change their work schedule. If your work schedule is ruining your sleep, discuss this issue with your boss.
Speak with Your Doctor
Your doctor can advise you on how to deal with work-related fatigue and help you create a sleep plan. Sleep specialists and doctors have extensive experience assisting people who have trouble sleeping.