How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Work Life

Choosing to go to bed very late at night or skipping a night’s worth of sleep entirely is, unsurprisingly, an unhealthy habit, and doing so during your work week can have a variety of negative effects. This can lead to decreased levels of productivity, forgetfulness, and general fatigue when entering your place of work the next morning, directly resulting in poor performance.

It’s no secret that getting anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep is vital for a productive day following. Not getting this much sleep can cause both short-term and long-term health problems, including a direct affect how efficiently you perform your job.

A common misconception today is that staying later at work displays determination and professionalism to one’s managers, and successfully completes more work than one would in a normal day. However, this habit tends to backfire frequently. Rather than seeing improved performance, a longer night in the office yields opposite results, due to lack of sleep building up over time.

Sleep deprivation is commonly seen as a necessary price that we have to pay in order to be successful in today’s world. This has led to a generation of late night crammers and early morning idleness. Choosing work over sleep will have the opposite results that you wish to see, and studies have shown that after being awake for more than 17 hours, your motor skills are equivalent to someone with a blood alcohol content of .05%.

Sleep deprivation can hinder your creativity and decision-making abilities, and staying mentally sharp is essentially a job requirement. With a full night’s sleep, your cognitive abilities are basically recharged from the day before, allowing you to spark more creative thought, and make smarter decisions throughout the day.

Another negative aspect that sleep deprivation has on one’s work life, which typically goes disregarded, is the number of sick days you will eventually rack up. Lack of sleep has a direct affect on our physical health. As your immune system weakens, you are more prone to colds and the flu, in addition to increasing your risk of blood pressure irregularities, and weight gain. Taking more time off can be a financial burden for your employer.

Your ability to retain information is another mental aspect that takes a hit from sleep deprivation. Attempting to process information from meetings, emails, or phone calls is made much more difficult after a poor night’s sleep. Rapid eye movement during sleep helps your brain solidify memories, and not getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep can cause brain cell damage. This can eventually develop into a long-term health issue as well.

Lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood as well, making your daily interactions with coworkers or customers fairly unpleasant. This can hurt business in more ways than one. Sleep deprivation can cause irritability, stress, and short temperedness, which makes one’s day much more difficult for themselves, and their peers.

For a productive, successful work day, a proper night’s sleep is extremely important. Burning the midnight oil, though seemingly effective, can have adverse effects on the quality of your work, and your physical and mental health as well. While it may be required at times, avoid staying too late when possible. A decent amount of sleep is much more important for you, and your employer.