A lack of sleep not only affects your work, but your health, too.
You know the drill: it’s a Wednesday night and you’re doing a deep dive of your cousin’s best friend’s ex girlfriend’s Instagram. You know you need to stop and go to bed, but you’re hypnotized into a deep social media creep.
“Okay,” you tell yourself. “Ten more minutes and I’ll go to bed,” but before you know it, you’re a scholar on all things cousin’s-best friend’s-ex girlfriend and you’ve cut your sleep time down to a mere six hours.
It seems like there’s always some news report encouraging Americans to get more sleep, but here’s the truth of it: not sleeping enough can negatively affect your work. Get inspired for a good night’s rest with our sleepy animal gifs and facts below.
A 2012 Sleep in America® poll compared the number of hours respondents said they need to function at their best during the day, compared to the number of hours respondents reported they actually slept.
Overall, about four in ten respondents (41%) did not get enough sleep on workdays.
A lack of sleep has many consequences, from heart disease, to weight gain, to poor job performance. As the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes, sleep helps your brain work properly. While sleeping, your brain is prepping for the next day. Sleep helps it form new pathways to help you learn and remember information.
Without enough sleep, employees are at risk for microsleeping. Unlike merely being tired, microsleeping often involves short bursts of sleep when you’re normally awake. It’s why if you feel like you’re missing an important part of a presentation or meeting, it’s because you may have been microsleeping. Being tired at work isn’t just uncomfortable—it prohibits the ability to retain new information. Even cutting sleep short by just a few hours per week could cause you to microsleep in a meeting or important presentation.
Thankfully, there’s a host of things you can do to achieve the ideal amount of sleep.
For starters? Put down your phone. Darkness helps stimulate a hormone produced by the brain called melatonin that helps make us drowsy. The light from your phone may trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime, delaying the onset of sleep.
Another tip is to get into bedtime mode by doing relaxing activities about 45 minutes before you intend to be asleep. This means no late night work emails. Budget your evenings so you have time to take care of any necessary tasks before bed. Then wind-down by reading a book or listening to relaxing music.
Avoiding alcohol before bed is also a good idea. While alcohol has the ability to make you feel drowsy, those effects are not the same as actual sleepiness and may disrupt your sleep cycle.
A good night’s sleep will make you ready and focused for the day ahead, with the added bonuses of less stress and a better mood. Plus? Getting enough sleep helps boosts your immune system, better protecting you from those office-wide colds that come around every winter.Put down the phone and go to bed. Your brain will thank you.Click To Tweet
Avoid the late night deep creep. Put down the phone and go to bed. Your brain will thank you.