Sleep Deprivation: 5 Ways It Affects Your Work
Sleep deprivation is estimated to cost American corporations $63 billion annually in lost productivity, and yet, the idea that we must sacrifice sleep in order to succeed is still rampant in the American workplace.
Executives still wear all-nighters as a badge of honor, employees show their dedication by responding to emails at all hours of the night, and tech entrepreneurs subsist on as little as four hours of sleep a night.
But the idea that sacrificing sleep is the way to success couldn’t be more misleading. A growing body of scientific research shows, unequivocally, that losing sleep can significantly impair productivity and performance on a number of different levels. The science has also shown that getting enough rest, on the other hand, might be a real competitive advantage.
Here are five ways sleep loss is killing your productivity — and proof that getting more sleep could be the best way to get ahead in your career.
1. It’s upping your stress levels.
Stress and sleep loss are a vicious cycle. High stress levels often play a role in insomnia and sleep disturbances, and poor sleep in turn contributes to greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol circulating in the body. Research has found that just 24 hours of sleep deprivation can significantly increase cortisol levels, while also hindering attention and working memory.
Therefore, a stressed-out worker is not a productive worker. When we’re stressed, we’re not able to function at anywhere near an optimal level — memory, learning, focus, decision-making and cognitive performance suffers as a result of both acute and chronic stress.
2. You’ll struggle with learning and memory.
The amount of sleep we get each night is known to have an enormous impact on our ability to learn and remember information.
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