August 14, 2018
As we climb the corporate ladder, our jobs demand more and more of us. Travel, late night deadlines, and busier schedules often take precedence over our personal lives and health. Most workers sacrifice sleep in order to find enough hours in the day to finish their work. Yet, getting more sleep could be the key to being a better worker. Here are some of the ways that you could benefit from a better night’s sleep:
Studies have proven that your selective attention, or your ability to focus on one thing while ignoring distractions, is significantly affected by the amount of sleep you get. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain isn’t able to concentrate on one specific task for a long time, which can drastically cut down your productivity. If you’re running on just a few hours of sleep, it may take much longer to complete a project that could normally be completed quickly. Getting a full night’s rest, of between seven to eight hours, can help improve your focus and, therefore, productivity at work.
Better Coworker Relationships
Sleep and mood are closely related, which means sleep can affect the way you act around others. Getting plenty of rest typically boosts your mood, whereas cutting yourself short on your ZZZ’s can lead to irritability and agitation. Positive interactions with your coworkers can not only affect your interest in your job, but also your ability to network and potentially advance in your field, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re getting enough restorative sleep.
Lowered Stress Levels
Cutting yourself short on sleep can significantly increase your stress and anxiety levels. While a little bit of stress can be a good thing for certain types of workers, too much can have catastrophic effects on your productivity and health. In the workplace, too much stress can lead to panic, poor time management, and forgetfulness. Make sure you know how to manage your own stress and make positive changes in your lifestyle for your health and work performance.
Sleep deprivation has been linked to a decreased ability to perform high-end brain functions, such as creative thought. Our abstract problem-solving skills, as well as logic and reasoning skills, are heightened after a good night’s rest. Whether your job is in an arts field or not, every field requires workers to find creative solutions to whatever problems they face. Try to face your most creative activities in the morning, as your mind will be the most well-rested, and the closest to the rejuvenating REM sleep from the night before.
How to Get Better Sleep
Getting more restful sleep ultimately comes down to your individual sleep needs.
- If you have difficulty falling asleep: Try practicing some self-care tactics before bed. Journaling, meditating, or bedtime yoga are all quick and easy ways to unwind and clear your head before sleep.
- If you’re a night owl: Try resetting your circadian rhythms by establishing a routine that signals to your brain when it’s time for bed. Go to sleep at the same time every night, cut out LED blue lights before bed, and drink herbal tea before crawling under the covers. Once your body starts to recognize a routine, your sleep hormone, melatonin will begin making you sleepy as soon as you start the process.
- If you struggle staying asleep: Make sure your bedroom atmosphere is conducive to sleep. Keep the thermostat low, top your bed with supportive pillows, and use ear plugs or a white noise machine to cancel out distractions.
An improved work life could down to your motivation to sleep better. If you want to become a more effective, and marketable employee, make sure you’re getting the rest you need.