How Sleep Impacts Your Performance At Work

How Sleep Impacts Your Performance At Work

We’ve all been there: After a sleepless night, you’re struggling to keep your eyes open at work. It’s difficult to focus on what your colleagues are saying during meetings. When you look at your computer screen, your eyes feel dry and everything’s blurry. And even two cups of extra strong coffee can’t seem to kick start your brain.

What a lack of sleep does to your brain

Of course, everyone can have a sleepless night and a bad day at work. But when you’re regularly getting insufficient sleep, it could negatively impact your performance at work. According to Camille Peri’s article “What Lack of Sleep Does to Your Mind” on WebMD, a lack of sleep can compromise your ability to think clearly and keep your emotions stable. It makes you less alert and focused. It also it impairs your judgement and memory, and it makes it more challenging to learn new things. Clearly, it makes it impossible to be sharp, creative, and productive—all the things you need to do well at work.

How much sleep do you need?

Now you know what the effects are of too little sleep, how much sleep do you need to function well? Experts generally advise seven or eight hours per night for adults. However, some people need nine hours a night, others function just fine on five hours. It’s best to monitor your sleep patterns for one or two weeks and note down the days that you feel most rested and alert. Then check how much sleep you got the night before to get an idea of how much sleep is best for you.

How to get a good night’s sleep

If you regularly have trouble falling asleep, then changing what you do right before you go to bed can help. Create a ritual that helps you calm down before you go to sleep. Listen to soothing music, dim the lights, and engage in a quiet activity such as reading, meditating, or stretching. Another idea is to take a relaxing bath with essential oils such as lavender or bergamot. Also, switch off any blue-light emitting devices such as tablets, smart phones, computers, and TVs at least an hour before going to bed. (Note: If you like reading on your tablet, check to see if it has a blue light filter so you can still read before going to bed.)

While you might not immediately think of it, how much sleep you get affects your performance at work. So make sure to get a good night’s sleep every night—because it could help make or break your career!