The best employees are the ones who get the best sleep. Don’t believe us? Read this, and then follow our tips for getting more (and better) sleep.
According to the CDC, over 35% of all adults suffer from a lack of sleep.
The no-sleep culture that we’ve found ourselves in as a country is dangerous. Busy and exhausted aren’t always good and shouldn’t be worn as badges of honor.
A good night’s rest on a regular basis does so much more than just improve your mood. It’s good for your physical and mental health, and it makes you a better employee, too.
Taking the time out of your busy schedule to sleep is actually better than staying up to get things done, and here’s why:
What a Lack of Sleep Does to Your Brain
The proven effects (NCBI) of sleep deprivation on the brain are scary.
Research shows that a lack of sleep slows your response rate drastically. In fact, they say that driving sleepy is worse than driving drunk says the sleepfoundation.org.
Sleep deprivation also ruins your attention span. This results in the tendency to make more mistakes and have a lack of judgment.
When you sleep, your brain is creating new pathways and repairing damage in your brain. It is also storing new ideas, thoughts, and memories.
Without this rejuvenating cycle of the brain, you are more susceptible to depression and suicidal behavior (Stanford).
How Sleep Can Improve Your Work Performance
A good sleep schedule can make you a happier, healthier person.
It can make you a more efficient and productive employee, too.
Let’s discuss the many ways sleep can improve your performance at work.
Sleep Improves Creativity
When your brain is rested, it tends to be much more creative.
You can think outside the box to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems.
Problem-solving is a highly sought-after trait in employees, but you will be severely lacking in this regard if you don’t get your recommended amount of zzz’s.
Sleep Improves Mood
This probably comes as no surprise to most, but there’s a proven connection between happiness and good sleep, shares Research Gate.
When you are in a good mood, you improve your intercompany relations. You’ll communicate better with your co-workers and be more enjoyable to work with.
Employers don’t just want a hard worker; they want someone who works well with others.
If you’re cranky because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, most employers won’t be very understanding. They would consider it your responsibility to prioritize sleep.
Sleep affects mood (Harvard), and mood affects sleep; it’s a snowball effect. Stop it at its source and aim for 7-8 hours of sound sleep each night.
Sleep Improves Decision Making
Every day, you make hundreds of decisions to complete your job. Don’t you want to make the best possible decisions?
Well, lack of sleep is shown to inhibit your decision-making skills and slow your response rate explains Zen Business.
Making decisions when you are exhausted is like making decisions while intoxicated — not good!
Sleep Improves Memory
Good employees have good memories. You’ll need to remember instructions, due dates, and to get that memo down to Stacy down in sales.
Have you ever felt like you can’t remember what you did five minutes ago? No doubt, this was caused by a lack of sleep.
A study on plog.org shows that your short-term memory is increased with a good night’s rest.
Sleep Improves Attention and Learning
A good employee is constantly learning and paying close attention to detail. You’ll find this extremely difficult if you don’t sleep enough.
Read all about the adverse side effects of sleep on your attention span on scientificamerican.com.
Lack of sleep also makes it nearly impossible to retain new information, so you can kiss learning goodbye, as well.
How to Improve Your Sleep Habits
Now that you know how sleep can help you be a rockstar at work, you are probably trying to figure out how you can improve your sleep habits and reap the rewards.
Follow these tips to wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day:
Create a Sleep Ritual
Go to bed at the same time with the same process, even on the weekends. Your body will naturally adapt to this schedule, and it will be easier to fall asleep.
Take an Hour of Downtime Before Bed
Make this hour free from excitement with no TV or bright lights on. This will help your body to prepare for sleep.
Don’t Eat Right Before Bed
Having food in your stomach can cause your body to put off sleep in order to digest.
Try a Hot Bath Before Bed
You can include aromatherapy oils such as lavender or chamomile in the water to help your body enter a restful state.
Avoid Heavy Drinking, Smoking, or Caffeine Before Bed
When you have chemicals in your body like alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine, your body puts energy toward processing them, so your body never completely shuts down.
Make Your Bedroom a Relaxing Environment
The best setting to induce sleep is one that is dark, cool, and quiet.
Be Active Throughout the Day
This can include a workout or just cleaning your house as long as you move your body! (doffitt.com has ideas for easy home workouts)
Get Fresh Air and Sunshine
There’s no better recipe for a healthy tired body!
Too many people live like sleep is overrated when the opposite is actually true. Not only can sleep improve all aspects of your life, especially at work, but it is vital to your health.
Sleeping in on Saturday morning isn’t going to cut it, either. A good sleep schedule requires quality and regularity.
So, follow the tips above. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll be more productive than ever!
Jill Bowers is the property manager at Industry-Columbus, a luxury apartment community in Columbus, OH