The average American does not get enough sleep at night. While most adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night, reports show that most of us get an average of 6.8 hours a night, falling short of the minimum amount of sleep we should be getting. Often, we sleep even less than that. Long hours at work, family responsibilities, personal commitments and other activities keep us going all day and prevent us from getting to bed at a reasonable hour most nights. However, that lack of sleep could be hurting you at work. Getting enough sleep each night can greatly increase your productivity, so you can spend less time on work and better use the time you have.
Recover from Distractions Faster
When you’re sleep deprived, you’re much more likely to get distracted by other things in the office. An onslaught of emails, a chatty coworker or a long to-do list can all detract from the tasks you really need to be doing. A well-rested person has an easier time recognizing distractions and putting them out of mind.
Longer Attention Span
Since you aren’t as distracted when you’ve gotten enough sleep, you also have the ability to focus on tasks longer. Your attention span will improve when you’ve gotten quality shut-eye, meaning you can focus longer and get your work done faster.
Getting a good night’s sleep can improve your memory and brain function. You’ll make better, more rational decisions when you’re well rested. It may also increase your creativity. While some people think that sleep deprivation makes them more creative, a good night’s sleep may be exactly what you need in order to solve that big problem at work. Leaving the office and “sleeping on it” can give you perspective or insight that you might not have had otherwise.
If you’re well rested, you can recover from distractions and have a longer attention span than you would if you were sleep deprived. You’ll also make fewer mistakes if you get your full eight hours in. When you’re more awake, you’re more focused, alert and attentive, meaning you can pay more attention to the details and are less likely to make mistakes at work.
Sleep is essential for maintaining your health. A lack of sleep leads to lowered immune system function, which can make you sick a lot more often. If you’re out with a cold every other month, that’s a lot of valuable time away from your desk. You’ll have even more to deal with and catch up on when you get back, which can lead to even less sleep. Not getting enough sleep can also raise blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease or stroke, and higher levels of stress.
Most workers experience burnout at some point in their careers. When you’ve been putting in long hours and focusing most of your time and energy into work without giving yourself a proper break, you’re likely to get frustrated and fed up and eventually get discouraged and burnt out. Getting enough sleep every night is a big part of preventing burnout.