Why Sleep Impacts the Quality of Your Work


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Chances are you sacrificed a few hours of sleep here and there. Maybe you even suffer from a sleep disorder and believe you learned to live with it. The fact is that sleep is essential for good health and well-being.

If you don’t allow your body and mind to properly rest every night, it may affect your performance at the workplace. So, let’s discuss why this happens and how sleep impacts the quality of your work and consequently the results.  

1.    Poor sleep can lead to chronic tiredness and exhaustion

Each of us has experienced tiredness caused by sleepless nights — at least once. If you sleep poorly most of the time, you can start suffering from chronic tiredness. This can make you more sluggish at work and feel exhausted before the day is over, affecting your motivation and productivity.

While short physical activity and a glass of water in the morning can elevate your energy levels, these are not permanent solutions. To have recommended amount of sleep, go to bed earlier than usual, turn off all the lights and electronic devices, and eliminate noises with earplugs, or use a sound machine. Don’t drink alcohol on the workday since it can lead to low-quality of sleep even though it will make you drowsy.  

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2.    Sleep helps you manage stress

You are exposed to constant stress at work, regardless of how small it is. When you are well-rested, you don’t let the small things get you since you are full of energy to deal with almost anything. However, sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to stress and have you experience its common side effects.

Headache, accelerated heartbeat, high blood pressure, anxiety, and panic are some of the conditions that follow low-quality of sleep. This is problematic if you work in problem-solving, leadership, and other positions that require a high degree of readiness and fast engagement.

3.    Lack of sleep means lack of productivity

We already mentioned that your productivity can suffer from lack of sleep, so let’s talk about that some more. Every company depends on the productivity of its employees since results bring profits and satisfied clients. You may not have to be productive every day, but failing to give it your all when necessary is equal to doing nothing.

Unfortunately, lack of sleep can be caused by your productivity, thus creating a vicious circle that can turn you into a sleepless workaholic. To remedy this, go away for the weekends, learn to delegate tasks, and be aware of how much is enough. After all, you can push yourself to a degree, and afterward, you will burn out which can lead to mistakes and slip-ups. 

4.    Sleep affects your physical health

Good health depends on quality sleep. A 2009 study on 153 volunteers showed that people suffering from sleep deprivation are more vulnerable to the common cold. Additionally, chronic lack of sleep can cause diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart attack, and inflammation.

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For example, if you don’t sleep enough, your body will produce less insulin after meals and cause your blood sugar to spike. Hormones are commonly stimulated by proper sleep, especially with the REM phase. If lack of sleep affects your physical health, you may not be able to perform your duties at work or go to the office at all.

5.    Not having enough sleep can cause memory problems

Sleep is when the brain works on pathways that are important for maintaining our memory. When you don’t sleep enough, you can experience memory loss that can cost you success and results at your job. This happens because sleep deprivation affects short-term memory that is important for complex daily tasks that require memorizing information to perform tasks, like numbers.

However, long-term memory can suffer as well. During sleep, the brain processes data collected while you were awake. If this is disrupted, you can find it harder to learn new skills that can help you perform your assignments better.

6.    Sleep loss can influence your appearance

The way you present yourself at work matters. Sleep loss can cause dark circles under your eyes and make them swell. Wrinkles and fine lines may get more pronounced since increased stress hormone levels can affect collagen production and affect the way you age, according to a  2013 study. Your skin tone can become sickly-looking and paler because of the decreased blood flow carrying oxygen to organs in your body.

Considering sleep deprivation can lead to depression, you may stop paying attention to your appearance, while anxiety can make you bite your fingernails or pull at your hair. Alternatively, you may become overly obsessed with your looks as a way to control your mental health issues and criticize others to do the same. 

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7.    Good night’s sleep helps with focus and concentration

Sleeping 7–9 hours every night can help you stay focused on the task at hand. When you are well-rested, you can think clearly and pay attention to conversations and events around you. But, if you can’t fall asleep or sleep poorly, try to fix this with ashwagandha pills, meditation, breathing techniques, and other aids.

Lack of sleep is a serious issue, leading to slow reaction time and putting you in dangerous situations, like falling asleep at the wheel or injury when operating heavy machinery. If the problem persists despite all your efforts, you should see a sleep specialist or try therapy.    

8.    Sleep deprivation can affect your mood

A lot depends on the way you behave toward colleagues and clients. If you work in the hospitality industry, you know how much depends on the way you treat your customers. Sleep deprivation can make you easily agitated and not patient enough to deal with other people.

Furthermore, this moodiness can put a strain on your social life and professional relationships, making you less approachable. After a while, you may even start to experience a lack of self-esteem, optimism, and drive to take initiative and communicate with others. Since a lot of work gets done through teamwork, you should focus on sleeping more to preserve your stellar behavior at work.  

Final words

The quality of your work is connected to the quality of your sleep. If you don’t sleep enough, you may be too tired, agitated, and distracted to perform even the simplest tasks at your job. So, instead of sacrificing sleep to do more work, you should sleep better to be more productive and successful. Not to mention it can help you stay healthy and in good mood.