Sleep Deprivation Kills Productivity in the Workplace

Sleep Deprivation Kills Productivity in the Workplace 150 150 Krysia Woods

Throughout history, sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture. Amnesty International lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture. Yet most people are prepared to sacrifice a few hours of sleep to meet work deadlines or dare I say, to watch their favorite television show. Many employees even see it as some sort of measure of their worth that they are working through the night on their projects.

A recent Harvard research study found that for the average worker, insomnia leads to the loss of 11.3 days’ worth of productivity in the workplace a year.

Many of us even believe that we are still able to function normally on fewer hours of sleep. Unfortunately, this is not the case despite all appearances which may suggest otherwise.

For our brain, sleep is not a period of rest. Our brain is in fact very active when we are sleeping. Newer scientific evidence shows sleep is required for neuroplasticity (brain forming new connections), and to flush toxins from the brain that have accumulated during the course of the day. It is also the valuable time required for the brain to promote memory formation; moving memories from short-term to long-term storage.

Sleep deprivation impacts cognition (thinking), mood, memory, and learning, and leads to chronic disease. You must have noticed how staying up too late effects your emotions and your response to stress. Your attention becomes limited, and you should definitely steer away from any serious decision making.

The effects of missing sleep are similar to the effects of alcohol; you take longer to perform tasks and your communication is impacted. You are not able to express yourself as clearly, and you have trouble listening. The grogginess and lowered concentration due to lack of quality sleep, is also a basic safety issue in the workplace.

It has been estimated that the lack of productivity due to sleep deprivation, costs the economy $20 billion a year.

Both the immediate, and long-term brain health consequences of sleep disturbance is dire. So, give some serious thought to how much quality sleep you are getting each night.

Make better use of your brain!