The Science of Sleep and Work Performance – Learn how to Sleep Better
Everyone talks about the fact that sleep is essential for maintaining your overall wellness and health, but few discuss the fact that the quality of sleep can impact work performance, regardless if you work in an office or remotely.
Americans spend most of their days at work. Studies show that besides the average 9.5 hours they work daily, they also spend an extra four hours to complete their assigned tasks. People reduce their sleep by an hour and a half during workdays, compared to non-work days. And while stress and a high amount of work can impact sleep patterns, poor sleep quality can also affect performance and productivity.
If you catch yourself nodding at your desk or during business meetings, you know that lack of sleep can negatively impact your work performance. When you’re sleep-deprived, you are less creative, feel tired, and fail to focus on your tasks.
What does the research say about sleep and productivity?
Studies show that sleeping well at night can enhance your productivity. One study reviewing the sleep patterns of 4,188 workers in the USA concluded that those who sleep less have worse performance, productivity, and safety outcomes. The average loss in productivity due to poor sleep reaches $1,967. Paradoxically, work is the main reason people fail to rest at night. Many people don’t have a good night’s sleep because their work stresses them out. And they don’t work efficiently because they’re not getting enough sleep. It sounds like they’re caught in a vicious circle. Matthew Carter, PhD, a sleep specialist at Williams College, states that society is dealing with a sleep crisis. Some people have the misconception that sleeping less allows them to enjoy their days more or get more things done. However, experts believe people can do more if they rest at night.
If we take a look at the last couple of years, it’s easy to notice that scientific research has impacted people’s behavior. Studies showed that exercising regularly can improve our overall health, so everyone has engaged in some form of physical activity. But when it comes to sleep, people seem to ignore that research says that they should improve their sleep quantity and quality to enhance their work performance and boost their health. A study that focused on the connection between sleep and productivity concluded that snoring, sleepiness, insomnia, and short/long sleep duration could decrease one’s productivity.
You shouldn’t be surprised that research reached this conclusion because everyone has known for years that poor sleep reduces performance. Regardless of the tasks, you must complete at work, impairing your memory, problem-solving ability, or creativity won’t help your productivity. Yet you continue to put sleep on hold because you’re too busy to get to bed early. You most likely feel like you have too much to do or are too stressed out to get enough sleep. On the other hand, you’re not completing your tasks because you’re too sleep-deprived to perform.
How much sleep do you need to be productive?
Ask your friends how much sleep they need to feel rested, and each will offer a different answer. Specialists think that a solid eight hours of sleep will help your body and brain rest and support you through a full day of work, and others think you’ll be fine with five or six hours.
Carter states that the average individual will perform if they get between six and eight hours of sleep. Only a small number of people need five hours or nine or ten hours to feel rested. Therefore, it depends on your activities, habits, and health. You can easily test how much sleep you need to be productive. Sleep six hours a night for a week and track your results, then sleep eight hours a night for a week and compare the results.
Thinking that sleep is an activity that involves doing nothing, it can be quite challenging to do it successfully. Lifelong insomniacs could tell you that they’re experts at failing. Hence if you find it challenging to fall asleep or wake up during the night, the following recommendations might help you.
Don’t use any screen before sleep
Don’t use the smartphone, tablet, computer, or TV an hour before bed because their bright light hits your eyeballs and prevents you from falling asleep. Using them stresses your brain and could disrupt your circadian rhythms.
When you deal with sleep issues for an extended period, consider taking supplements to help you fall asleep and stay asleep at night. You can buy Delta 9 Gummies online, as cannabis is known for facilitating relaxation and helping people improve their sleep patterns. You can also take melatonin supplements to regulate your sleep hormone levels.
Make a sleep routine
You shouldn’t expect sleep just to happen; you have to prepare your body for it. Experts think this step is crucial because it signals your brain that it’s the moment to wind down. Making a routine that includes sleep-promoting behaviors like turning down the lights around the house an hour before going to bed, changing into comfortable sleepwear, or reading a book is recommended. Don’t brush off this piece of advice because neglecting to improve your sleep quality can hurt your productivity in the long run.
Don’t consume alcohol or carbohydrates before bed
Your diet can also impact how much sleep you get at night and if you rest well. Alcohol and carbohydrates can keep you awake or negatively impact your sleep quality. Leaving aside the health benefits, skipping drinking wine and snacking on sweets before bed can boost your daytime productivity.
Learn to create a boundary between your work and personal life, and keep in mind that better sleep means consistent job performance.