Many of us already understand the benefits of getting a great night’s sleep to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, but how much of an effect can a better night’s sleep have on our day to day performance in the workplace?
Sleep experts agree that it’s crucial for us to get a good night’s sleep in order to function properly and allow us to be at our best to achieve success every day. There are 4 key areas in which a better night’s sleep helps ensure that we are at our best and fully ready to take on the day:
1. Increasing Productivity
Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done? Unfortunately, getting a better night’s sleep can’t stop time or make the day longer, but it can have a significant impact on your daily productivity.
For many of us, distractions in the work place are just a part of working life. Whether it’s a new project arising, a chatty co-worker, or simply something we see out of the window, it’s impossible to completely eradicate disruptions. However, it is hugely important for our productivity levels to ensure that after becoming distracted from the task in hand, we refocus quickly and effectively. The National Sleep Foundation claims that people who suffer from a lack of sleep tend to find it more difficult to refocus after distractions than well rested people, taking an effect on their daily productivity levels.
The good news is that anyone can improve their sleep habits to ensure they are maximizing their efficiency at work by following some simple steps. Here are some useful tips and tricks to help yourself swap bad sleep habits for good ones and in turn help improve your daily productivity in the workplace.
2. Increasing Creativity
Every job involves a level of creativity and problem solving on some level. Being able to find innovative solutions to problems in the workplace can help companies strive forward, and help you progress in your career.
Bill Gates is a big believer that getting a good quality night’s sleep helps fuel creativity. He claims that “Even though it’s fun to stay up all night, maybe taking a red-eye flight, if I have to be creative I need seven hours. I can give a speech without much sleep, I can do parts of my job that way, but in thinking creatively, I’m not much good without seven hours.”
According to a recent study done by the University of Haifa, this is especially important for verbally creative people, who tend to be at their most creative having enjoying a good night’s sleep.
In order to enhance your creativity in the workplace, it is therefore crucial to ensure you are getting a good quality night’s sleep. If you are a more visually creative person, maintaining a good quality night’s sleep may be more difficult, so we would recommend trying to practice sleep inducing techniques before bed to ensure you are getting enough rest to allow your creativity to flourish during the day.
3. Reducing Stress
Stress is an important issue that many of us have to overcome in our careers. We all want to do the best we can, but sometimes tasks build up and can appear overwhelming, leading to stress, which can effect our daily performance and even our personal lives.
The relationship between stress and sleep is evident from various studies and clinical trials, showing a strong correlation between amount of quality sleep and stress levels. A U.S based study found that 21% of adults reported feeling more stressed when they did not get enough sleep.
This is down to the effect REM sleep has on the body and the way it helps us deal with stressful emotions. During REM sleep, the levels of hormones that cause stressful emotions are greatly reduced, allowing our dreams to order and “manage” the memories and events taken from the day. This in turn helps us wake with a refreshed mind-set, and ready to take on the new day.
By getting a good night’s sleep, we can ensure that we keep stress levels at a minimum, allowing us to talk a calm, measured approach to our daily tasks, and avoid snapping at colleagues and friends.
4. Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle
The final key reason to prioritize sleep for success in the workplace is the impact it has on our health and wellbeing. Many successful people testify that a healthy lifestyle is crucial for them to stay on top of their game in the workplace, and getting a good night’s sleep provides the perfect platform for this.
One way to approach a healthy lifestyle is by exercising regularly. Exercise helps keep your mind and body alert during the day, reducing feelings of fatigue in the workplace. For this reason, it is seen by many as a key aspect of a successful lifestyle, such as Richard Branson, who claims that he can “achieve twice as much by keeping fit”, and ensures he exercises every morning before work.
By prioritizing sleep, we therefore give ourselves the perfect base to bring in other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, which in turn helps us remain energetic, focussed and clear minded during the day and fulfill our potential.
While there is no definitive recipe for success, one thing we do know, is that we perform at our best when we are well rested and feeling fresh. So if you want to prepare yourself for success in your career, it could be time to start taking sleep seriously!