How Productivity Is Linked To Sleep
Quality of sleep can have a big impact on your performance, concentration and productivity levels. While many of us are guilty of scrolling through social media in bed, this late-night habit could actually be impacting your ability to work. Just one late-night could ruin your entire week! So it’s time to ditch the devices, resist the urge to make another coffee, and instead investigate the direct link between mental health, productivity, and quality of sleep. In this article, we’re going to explore the benefits of sleep, the mental health concerns of insomnia, and what to do if you’re having problems sleeping.
Top Benefits Of Sleep
Sleep is nature’s way of recharging the mind and body. When you sleep, you are giving your body time to rest, recover and relax. But sleep also supports cognitive activity, and as you dream, your brain will be organizing thoughts, information, and memories. So, depriving your mind of a good night’s rest can impact your ability to learn. Well, that explains why parents urge young children to get an early night, right! But if you’re having problems sleeping, you will likely start to experience problems with mental clarity too. A late-night and poor quality of sleep can make it increasingly difficult to concentrate and your productivity levels will also suffer.
Another major benefit of going to bed at a decent hour is that you’ll find it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Insomnia and problems sleeping will leave you feeling tired during the day. In response, you will find it extremely difficult to resist the urge not to indulge in comfort food, high in sugar and fat. Overeating due to a late-night is pretty common these days, especially among busy professionals who work late and don’t have enough time to prepare a healthy lunch. With supermarkets stacked full of temptations, it’s just too easy to grab a snack to give yourself a sugar rush and fight that sluggish feeling while at work.
Keep your body’s defense system at peak performance by getting a good quality of sleep on a regular basis. Sleep deprivation and insomnia can weaken your immune system, which helps combat germs, infections, and nasty bugs. Your body needs time to recover and relax and without this respite, your immune system will suffer. Beauty sleep will also support your mental health. Staying up at night worrying about a looming deadline, an upcoming presentation or your biggest fear becoming a reality is detrimental to your health and happiness. While worrying is something you’ll be doing inside your head, the effects will start to show on the outside too! Bags under your eyes, pale dull skin, and premature aging are all linked to poor quality of sleep and a stressful lifestyle. If you want a youthful glow, get to bed early!
Poor Performance & Problems Sleeping
Problems sleeping can have a significant economic impact too. In fact, tired employees are costing the economy billions of dollars a year. It’s estimated that a drop in productivity, motivation, and health care costs related to fatigue cost American employees $1,967 per employee on an annual basis. That means US companies are losing $136.4 billion a year due to low quality of sleep. (1)
If you’re having problems sleeping, you might also be suffering from anxiety and work-related stress. Stress can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. So, it’s important to be aware of how you feel and when you’re going through a stressful time. Worrying will take up a lot of your time, energy, and mental power, so you can wave goodbye to your performance at work when you’re tired and anxious. (2) The correlation between productivity and sleep is so prominent that Google is now hosting ‘sleeposium’ events in order to battle insomnia among employees. (3)
For those who need to be physically active and healthy for work, such as athletes, is shocking to learn that a lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing a wide range of health conditions. From high blood pressure and diabetes to heart disease. This is primarily due to your fight or flight response being constantly on red alert when you’re stressed and sleep-deprived. This naturally helps protect us from danger, but when the danger is a video call with your manager, it’s not exactly a life or death situation!
The problem is, sleep deprivation creates additional stress and anxiety. When you experience stress, you will probably have problems sleeping. When you don’t enjoy a good quality of sleep, your performance will suffer, and you’ll overeat, which intensifies your level of stress. A vicious circle begins to form, and it can feel impossible to break. But, don’t panic; we’ve got some top tips to help you maximize the benefits of sleep and boost your productivity levels.
5 Ways To Improve Your Quality Of Sleep
1: Invest In Your Bedroom
Creating a relaxing space that is dark, quiet, and tranquil will help you to wind down and focus on relaxing. Consider investing in blackout curtains to reduce light pollution. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 73 percent of Americans say a dark room is the best setting for a good night’s sleep. (4) Fairy lights are also a great way to create a warm and cozy environment, and a supportive set of pillows and high-quality bedding will keep you comfortable throughout the night.
2: Set A Bedtime Reminder
Giving yourself a bedtime is important if you’re having problems sleeping. An hour before bed, put down your devices, turn your phone on silent and do something relaxing such as reading, writing in a journal, or taking a warm bubble bath. Allow your body to gently calm down rather than jumping straight into bed after checking your emails or scrolling through social media.
3: Avoid Caffeine & Alcohol
While a night-cap might seem like a good idea, it’s actually best to avoid alcohol before bedtime, as well as caffeine. Instead, treat yourself to a herbal tea. Chamomile tea is regarded as a natural and mild sleep inducer and has calming effects on the mind and body. This will help ease symptoms of anxiety and tell your mind that it’s time to relax. (5)
4: Start A Night Journal
For anyone suffering from work-related stress or prone to prioritizing work over bedtime, a night journal can help take your mental to-do list off your mind and put it down on paper. This should form part of your nighttime routine and will make minimize late-night anxiety about what you need to do tomorrow.
5: Meditation & Music
If insomnia is keeping you awake, avoid picking up your phone or watching TV. Instead, use meditation, yoga, or relaxing music to help soothe yourself and promote sleep. Warm herbal tea can also be just the trick to get you back to sleep, but don’t turn on the lights when you’ve woken up in the night. Light will send signals to your brain that it is daytime, which will only make it more difficult to get back to sleep again.