The title of this article sounds like common sense. We all know how important sleep is. You could substitute “business” for so many other words. Sleep is vital to our existence, and crucial to good performance in so many areas of our lives. But for some reason, we equate minimal sleep with exceptional workplace performance. We sacrifice sleep for work in an effort to maximize efficiency and work output.
People that routinely put in 80 hours a week at the office are viewed as exceptional workers. Nobody praises the employee who works 40 hours a week and gets 8+ hours of sleep a night. In fact, in many businesses, that worker is a slacker.
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
It’s not uncommon for today’s executive to have a breakfast meeting at 7 a.m. and end the day with a late dinner meeting, arriving back at home after 9 p.m. But since the body needs to wind down before it can fall sleep, these people might not fall asleep until 1 or 2 a.m. It’s a vicious cycle that, when repeated week after week, can lead to deplorable work performance.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your mind doesn’t work like it should. Sleep deprivation causes irritability, an inability to tolerate stress, and problems with concentration and memory. When you don’t get enough sleep, your energy goes to the parts of your brain that are responsible for keeping you awake, and the parietal lobe and prefrontal cortex (the areas most responsible for critical thinking) don’t perform as they should. Those areas act like a filter for thoughts – separating good ideas from bad ones. This obviously hinders good business.
If you’re someone who often sacrifices sleep for work, consider this: If you stay awake for longer than 18 consecutive hours, your reaction speed, short and long-term memory, ability to concentrate, and decision-making all suffer. And these effects are multiplied when you get only a few hours of sleep for several days in a row. In fact, prolonged sleep deprivation can result in a cognitive impairment equivalent to drunkenness. With weakened cognition, you’re susceptible to making bad decisions and you’ll lose the ability to effectively deal with stress. All of the effects make for an ineffective worker and can lead to bad business.
Getting Good Sleep
Conversely, when you get enough sleep (7.5-8.5 hours for the average adult), you think clearly, handle stress well, and can retain focus far longer than those deprived of adequate sleep. You’ll be sharper throughout the day as you interact with clients and coworkers, and you’ll be more efficient as you complete tasks.
Sleep is rejuvenating and replenishing, and when you get enough of it, your overall performance greatly improves. But getting good sleep isn’t just about allotting the right amount of time each night. It means getting deep, restorative rest. The easiest way to ensure you get this kind of sleep is to have a good quality mattress.
If you’re looking for a way to get the best sleep possible, remember that your mattress is just as important, if not more, than your environment and routine. Today’s mattresses employ a host of technologies to help combat common complaints of restless sleepers, and no mattresses do this better than memory foam mattress. They limit motion transfer from one side of the bed to the other, which is great if you sleep with a partner who moves a lot throughout the night. They also reduce pressure points that can cause tossing and turning. While your restless movements may not fully wake you, they will prevent you from getting the deep sleep you need to think sharply the next day.
Evaluate your sleep. Are you getting enough of it? If not, then try it out. Arrange your schedule so that you get the best sleep possible, and you’ll notice improvements in your work (and personal) life. You’ll be sharp. You’ll be confident. You’ll be at your best so that you can reach your highest potential in the workplace.
About the Author: Timothy Taylor is a creative writer and sleep specialist, incessantly promoting the advantages of meditation, memory foam mattresses, and natural ambiance.