The need to make aspirations come true, meet deadlines at work or conform to the working culture across the world has resulted in a drastic reduction of sleeping hours.
Well, an adult should enjoy an average of 6-8 hours of sleep. The overworking trend has adversely infected every industry. People have ascertained the notion that working more hours will make them more productive.
On the contrary, the opposite is true. The world has looked down upon the benefits of quality sleep at the expenses of economic gain. For example, in the US, almost 40% of adult workers have unhealthy sleeping durations. It is estimated that the country losses around $411 billion due to lack of enough sleeping time for workers.
The health effects of lack of ample sleeping time may not be immediate but may bring rise or act as a catalyst to other underlying health problems. This piece will give you a clear insight into how sleep affects your health and productivity.
Health Problems Related to Lack of Enough Sleep
You may take sleeping for granted, but it goes a long in helping maintain a healthy lifestyle. The benefits may not be immediate. However, in the long run, you will begin experiencing profound changes in your body.
Quality sleep relaxes and rejuvenates the brain and other body systems. If this doesn’t happen so often, the body systems get overwhelmed. Scientists have established sleeping to be a vital necessity like any other basic need. It is therefore critical that one maintains a healthy sleeping behavior.
Moreover, medical assessments have ascertained that conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, common cold, and reduced immune system may be caused or accelerated by insufficient sleep.
Productivity in Relation to Insufficient Sleep
Working twice or thrice as much each day without rest does not make you productive. In fact, it does much harm not only to your body but also reduces the potential to do better.
Below are some effects caused by sleep deprivation that eventually lower productivity.
Slow Reaction Rate
As earlier mentioned, when the body lacks adequate rest, the systems tend to shut down. As a result, you may lose concentration or become sluggish. Moreover, your involuntary body movements slow down and this, in turn, slows your response rate to changes on your surroundings. At work, this could cost your career, cause damage to property or even loss of lives.
Prone to Making Mistakes
Chance of making errors due to lack of adequate sleep is quite high as compared to persons who enjoy maximum sleeping periods. This becomes quite risky, especially when handling sensitive and vital stages of any process in any organization.
It is an aspect that requires critical and broad thinking. When you are working, the brain accumulates adenosine, a compound that manipulates the mind towards the affinity to sleep. At this point, it becomes impossible to reason out and critically analyze issues.
Sleeping helps to break down the compound. If you do not get sufficient rest, then this problem will persist. You will be unable to assist when problems requiring critical approach arise in any setting.
When you are struggling to get adequate sleep, several things may happen. Firstly, you may have a hard time associating with fellow colleagues or engage in a sensible conversation. You can barely handle any situation or challenges that comes your way, amicably.
This makes you unhappy, as you are prone to make mistakes or engage in quarrels. Moodiness lenders you unfit for any workplace, especially when handling customers and your superiors.
It is one of the most known situations among victims of less sleeping time. The memory segment of the brain is much more alert to details when you have enough sleep.
“Pumping” your mind with so much information and having less sleep will affect the retrieval of information later. This impairs the ability to learn new things and also to work on already existing ideas, especially when studying while working. It reduces the productivity of oneself.
Due to lack of sleep, it reaches a point in time where your body can’t “take” anything. In essence, it is a complete shutdown of the body. This brings your productivity to zero.
You definitely don’t want to get this point! Medics have been able to offer ways in which one can track whether they are experiencing a good night sleep. This can be realized by monitoring you attentiveness, energy at work, jogging your memory and concentration span.
Additionally, here are a few tips that will help create a sleeping environment, that will in turn help boost productivity and reduce chances of body complications.
- Avoid consuming products rich in caffeine: These include products such as coffee and tea. Caffeine rejuvenates brain activity and blood flow. This makes you stay awake long hours in the night.
- Avoid bright lighting prior to or during sleeping hours: Darkness helps the generation of melatonin, a hormone that stimulates sleep.
- Avoid stressful and exhausting activities before sleeping time: It is disturbing for the mind. Much focus is diverted to the immediate problem instead of sleeping.
Programming your mind that sleeping is important: Whether you are studying while working, or have a busy schedule, creating a sleeping pattern helps to program your body. The brain will eventually learn to shut down at the most appropriate time.
Moreover, Come up with a sleeping schedule that works best for you. Train the brain that the body can only sleep at particular times (preferably, make it 7 (or more) hours of sleep each day).
- Always prepare your mind to sleep with relaxing and straightforward activities. Engage in activates such listening to soft music, meditation or reading books. Gradually, the mind will understand that “its time to bed”. That way, you will not experience instances of sleepless nights.
- Establish an exclusive sleeping environment in your bedroom. Simply let the bedroom serve its purpose and no other activities. Always keep it clean, dark or dim lighted. Equally, make sure that the bedding materials are comfortable and relatively warm.
- Engage in regular exercise. Well, this should not happen before bedtime. In essence, a high-intensity training/ physical activity will cause the body tire, and technically fall asleep when it is time. This can be done at the gym, or at the comfort of your home using simple attires such as slippers for men. You only need to figure the most appropriate fitness to engage your body.
- Get a little sunshine. Well, you might be wondering why? Interestingly, sunlight helps to harmonize your circadian cycles. This way, the brain can understand the difference between day and night and what each means.
Bottom Line: So What’s the Way Forward?
As much as working is part of us, it vital that you get a quality and relaxing bedtime. You should begin to appreciate and embrace the fact that sleep is a basic necessity. As far as health is concerned, chronic diseases are at your doorstep if sleeping is not a priority. Productivity is no different. History has taught us that a bad night sleep will cripple productivity no matter what. Well, a few naps during the day will not hurt.
Even though sleeping does not guarantee a perfect lifestyle with no diseases and constant productivity, it is unquestionably an essential for a longer lifespan.