Sleeping Less Than Six Hours a Night Can Significantly Impair Your Work Performance (Video)
It’s no secret that sleep is one of the most important things your body does.
Still, a lot of U.S. workers — about one in three according to the CDC — are not getting their recommended six to nine hours of sleep a night and are going about their days without proper rest. Sure, it’s technically more “efficient,” but it’s definitely doing people more harm than good.
According to HuffPost, sleep can impair your performance at work, even if you’re just a little bit sleep deprived.
“If you got fewer than seven hours of sleep last night, you are a little bit sleep-deprived. And you will probably deny that and say, ‘No, I’m fine,’” said Jeanne Duffy, a neuroscientist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School to the Huffington Post. “But if we were to bring you into one of our sleep labs and have you do some performance tests, we would be able to see that you are not as good at doing those as you are fully rested.”
Not only can sleep deprivation lead to workers being easily distracted or anxious, they can also cause some other emotional effects like being quick to anger and less patient with their coworkers, according to HuffPost.
Suddenly that “Don’t Talk To Me Until I’ve Had My Coffee” mug isn’t joking around.
In addition, workers in need of sleep are more likely to take bigger risks at work. While sometimes taking a risk can lead to a big payoff, it can also look like a lapse in judgment.
Naturally, the best way to combat these effects is to get on a healthy sleep schedule, but of course, not everyone can do that. According to Philips (the light bulb company), most people can’t sleep because of stress, poor sleep environments, difficult schedules, the ever-present lure of technology like TVs or smartphones, and certain health problems.
For workers who still have to burn the candle at both ends, HuffPost recommends spending a little time outside during your day, moving around, not over-consuming caffeine, taking a nap, and, of course, making sure you get a good night’s sleep after the day is done.
If you are genuinely too sleepy to go to work, it’s probably best to stay home.