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How Sleep Deprivation Affects Work Performance

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An Increased Chance Of Burning Out

Does sleep deprivation affect school performance?

Burnout can result from a number of factors, but sleep deprivation is frequently cited as one of reason for why it happens. Being exhausted all the time will do your physical and mental health no favors, but depriving your brain of restorative sleep will eventually cause you to stop caring about work altogether. Your mood is tightly linked to your sleep patterns, and if you find yourself more irritable or short-tempered than usual, consider going to bed earlier.

Effects Of Sleep On Work Performance

Based on the research, surveys, and interviews, the study concluded sleep problems were likely to impair work performance particularly for people with depression and anxiety disorders. Here are the statistical highlights from the results:

  • People with an anxiety or depressive disorder were 2.2 times more likely to have impaired work performance.
  • People with an anxiety or depressive disorder and short sleep duration were 2.54 times more likely to have impaired work performance and 85% more likely to miss work long-term.
  • People with an anxiety or depressive disorder and long rest duration were 20% less likely to have impaired work performance and 17% less likely to miss work long term than those with disorders who slept normal or short durations.
  • People with an anxiety or depressive disorder and insomnia were 2.48 times more likely to have a long-term work absence.
  • People with insomnia were 56% likely to have impaired work performance.
  • People without disorders who reported long sleep durations were 4.28 times more likely to have impaired work performance and 37% more likely to miss work long-term.

An article from the Harvard Business Review interviewed renowned sleep researcher and Harvard professor Dr. Charles A. Czeisler on the subject of sleep deficit. To demonstrate the seriousness of the issue, he states:

Being Unable To Focus

If you are a college student who is burning the midnight oil, you probably know this all too well. Instead of being able to focus on the professors lectures, you instead find yourself barely able to keep your eyes open, let alone pay attention to what he/she is saying. At work, youll be subject to similar problems. Instead of being able to focus on what your boss is saying, youll instead focus on trying to keep your eyelids open. Your boss might even think that you arent even trying to pay attention to them, which is an even worse outcome. Focusing on reading documents becomes a chore, and remembering what it was that you were doing becomes increasingly difficult.

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Lack Of Sleep Negatively Affects Your Social Psychological And Emotional Stability

Not sleeping enough has also been shown to have a dramatic effect on feelings and mood. Some of the more profound impacts of sleeplessness are: hallucinations, paranoia, loss of eye focus, mania and short-term memory loss. Lack of sleep for long periods of time can lead to strokes and ultimate death.

In an organizational environmental, the subtler effects can prove daunting. For instance, lack of sleep affects communication and teamwork which is an essential ingredient for professional success. In the same study by Dr. Hult, an overwhelming 84% of the respondents reported more irritability at work as a result of little sleep. Over half also admitted to being anxious, frustrated and experiencing higher stress levels.

Together with negative emotional impact, lack of sleep can affect your cognitive functions such as judgement, perception, decision making and reaction time. Staying at the office for more than 16 hours has been shown to have the same behavioral effects as drinking two glasses of wine.

High Risk Of Illnesses:

How sleep deprivation could be affecting your performance, work

The main reason why lack of sleep is bad for your career is because it significantly compromises your health. It can cause a myriad of related problems, from fatigue even at the start of a work day to fever and colds that can make you miss work entirely.

Additionally, lack of sleep can also put you at risk of obesity. A previously highlighted research from the University of Chicago concluded that it can lead to significant weight gain, explaining that a shortage of sleep enhances your hunger and can cause you to overeat. This can in turn affect your performance and productivity at work, especially if your job requires manual labor.

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Chronic Partial Sleep Restriction

It is difficult to compare the effects of total and partial SD based on existing literature due to large variation in methodologies, including the length of SD or the type of cognitive measures. The only study that has compared total and partial SD found that after controlling learning effects, cognitive performance declined almost linearly in the course of the study in all four experimental groups : one group was exposed to 3 nights total SD, and in other experimental groups, time in bed was restricted to 4 or 6 h for 14 consecutive days. The control group was allowed 8 h in bed for 14 days. Impairment in psychomotor vigilance test and digit symbol substitution task for the 4 h group after 14 days was equal to that of the total SD group after 2 nights. Deterioration in the serial addition/subtraction task for the 4 h group was similar to that of the total SD group after 1 night. The effect of 6 h restricted sleep corresponded to 1 night of total SD in psychomotor vigilance and digit symbol. Performance remained unaffected in the control group.

Stages Of Sleep For Athletes

Different functions happen throughout each of the stages of sleep, and all are necessary in order to have healthy sleep. But are there any parts of the sleep cycle that are particularly beneficial to athletes?

The results of a study of Norwegian chess players suggest so. Of the players studied, those who improved their chess ranking had different sleep patterns from the players whose chess rankings dropped. The sleep patterns of the improved players had less rapid eye movement sleep, higher amounts of deep sleep, and lower respiration rates.

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Sleep Deprivation & Work Performance

A survey looking at the impact sleep deprivation had on work performance found that the participants who had self-reported sleep loss had difficulty engaging in tasks that required prolonged focus. The results showed that functions performed by the prefrontal cortex within the brain, such as decision-making, creativity, processing, learning and so on, were highly impacted by sleep deprivation. Furthermore, the risk of injury increases in the workplace due to the slowing down of physical and cognitive reactions. Annually, the U.S. loses approximately 1.23 million working days due to lack of sleep, contributing to steep productivity losses.

To sum up, the slowing down of cognitive functions due to sleep loss has a far-reaching impact on our ability to perform by contributing to:

  • Variable work performance quality
  • Diminished ability to problem solve

The Impact Of Sleep On Employee Performance

How sleep deprevation affects doctors

    Good sleep is key to employee performance in the workplace, and employee performance is key to a company’s success.A recent study found that 35% of Americans are not getting enough sleep. So, chances are, about one third of your employees aren’t getting enough sleep either, which may have a significant impact on their performance.

    If you want to improve this situation, you must first understand how an employee’s sleep and their performance are really connected.

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    Jordan works remotely, from home or abroad, on projects that increase brand awareness, online engagement, and website traffic. She specializes in clear and concise writing that helps businesses conquer their online messaging. Through human-centered content, she aims to delight both human readers and Google bots. Spark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Mad Men or Game of Thrones.

    Causes Of Sleep Deprivation

    There are many causes as to why sleep deprivation occurs in college students. In a study done by Ahrberg and his colleagues , they found that different modes of stress affect the circadian sleep rhythms of the students. OF these modes of stress, stress from work and school are the most prevalent. A working student can feel stress from going to school, then working to hard at their job, and then having to come home to do more schoolwork until the early hours of the day. Students who do not have a job may also feel the same stresses as working students if they spend too much time procrastinating and have to spend time working on schoolwork until the early morning as well. Ahrberg and his colleagues also state that as a result of sleeping this late, sleep deprivation acts as another stressor on the student.

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    Chronic Sleep Deprivation And Depression

    Sleep deprivation can make you feel irritated and reduce your enthusiasm level, which, along with feeling sad and empty, are clinical signs of depression.

    Research has proved that individuals with insomnia who get insufficient sleep are 10 times more likely to suffer from clinical depression. Increased insufficiency in the quality and duration of sleep leads to an increased risk of clinical depression.

    Obstructive sleep apnea, in which the quality and quantity of sleep are impaired, is also associated with depression. A study with 19,000 participants indicated that the risk of depression is five times higher in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea.

    Depression affects your performance and productivity at work. Feeling tired and sad all of the time make it difficult to meet deadlines and other obligations in the office.

    It’s A Numbers Game: Case Studies On Sleep & Performance

    3 Ways Lack of Sleep Affects Your Work and Performance

    A wealth of research supports the strong link between sleep and productivity.

    And yet, many companies are known to have a long-hours culture without realizing the adverse effects on performance. In fact, the main driver of poor sleep is work overload.

    This type of work culture can quickly wear down morale as workers begin to feel the strain of the long work hours.

    Many case studies have brought attention to the importance of sleep for elite athletes, performers, musicians, and even politicians. However, businesses seem to lag behind in acknowledging sleep as the ultimate performance enhancer.

    When asked to explain the connection between sleep and productivity,Isaac Robertson, Fitness trainer & Co-Founder of Totalshape, shared their observation after eight years of working in the health & fitness sector. Issac stated, Attempting to work while sleep-deprived can have a major negative influence on job performance.

    Processes across the body perform sub-optimally when you dont get enough sleep. Overworked neuronal networks in the brain impede thinking, inhibit physical reactions, and leave people emotionally exhausted.

    These short-term consequences of sleep deprivation might derail a days effort. Sleeplessness can lead to a higher risk of obesity, heart problems, cognitive impairment, and dementia.

    And just how widespread is the problem of sleep insufficiency?

    Numerous studies point out just how frequently we skimp out on good sleep.

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    Sleep Deprivation Impacts Your Physical Health

    The physical effects of tiredness can be significant. A general feeling of lethargy is a standard symptom of poor sleep, while a number of participants in Hults research also reported experiencing other adverse physical symptoms, such as heartburn and palpitations.

    This supports numerous established studies showing a connection between the quality of sleep and quality of physical health. A decreased immune function can make you more susceptible to common illnesses, which in turn can keep you away from the office and potentially damage your career. According to one study, people who averaged less than seven hours of sleep were nearly three times more likely to develop a cold.

    More troubling however are the potential long-term effects of sleep deprivation. The risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, have all been linked to chronic lack of sleep.

    What would happen if you didnt sleep? Watch the video:

    How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Workplace

    My Experience with sleep deprivation in workplace

    Have you ever felt like a zombie? Standing in the nail spa, I felt like I would fall asleep in the next second. I had gone to bed at 1:00 a.m. and got up at 6:30 a.m, the only six and a half hours of sleep time really made me tired. When customers called for booking appointments, I lost the engagement to serve them. I kept yawning. I had a drowsy look and my eyes couldnt open. Every cell in my body was looking for sleep. Sleep deprivation negatively influenced my work performance. Sleeping late was a major mistake for my health and productivity and now I know why.

    What happens during sleep?

    Foley , a certified sleep science coach with a deep understanding of what it means to struggle with sleep, interprets what happens during sleep. Basically, there are four sleep stages. In the first stage of sleep, brain and body activities slow down but do not stop completely. Then, our body slows breathing, relaxes muscles in the second stage. At the same time, our eye movement stops. The third stage is called deep sleep. During this time, our muscle tone and breathing rate decrease. Third stage allows our body to grow and recover. The last stage is called REM sleep. REM sleep plays an important role in our cognitive functions. Our vivid dreams mostly appear in this period.

    Sleep deprivation affects workers emotions

    Sleep deprivation negatively influences work outcome

    Sleep deprivation affects workers emotional intelligence

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    Assessment Of Sleep And Sleepiness

    Many studies, particularly those in the workplace, ask individuals to record characteristics of their nightly sleep in a sleep log. Individuals record relevant information before and after a night of sleep, including when they believe themselves to have fallen asleep, how long they slept, and how often they awoke during the night . Scales such as the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index ask additional questions about sleep medication use and patterns of behavior to quantify sleep habits . These types of subjective measures provide information about sleep habits but are dependent upon the individuals assessment of their own sleep patterns. In recent years, wearable technology has been used to supplement self-report information, thus providing an objective means of monitoring sleep and sleep habits. Wearable technology allows individuals to track their sleep patterns with relatively little effort. These wearable devices range in price and complexity, but even inexpensive step trackers can use motion tracking to estimate time asleep. Although consumer technology seems to overestimate total sleep time and underestimate sleep disruptions , they can provide a meaningful measure of sleep habits when comparing across time within an individual.

    Lack Of Sleep And Its Health Implications

    Does Sleep Affect Performance

    The CDC report that a third of U.S. adults usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep, linking the lack of sleep with many chronic diseases and conditions, both physical and mental. Furthermore, sleep deprivation generally considered sleeping less than the recommended 7-9 hours for prolonged periods of time low sleep quality and sleep efficiency increases a persons risk of developing wide-ranging chronic conditions, such as coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes to name a few.

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    Economic Impact Of Sleep Loss And Poorly Rested Employees

    The RAND Corporation found that the US loses what is the equivalent of 1.2 million work days annually to sleep. Their study also found that small but significant changes to sleep patterns can have huge impacts on the economy. An additional hour of sleep, an increase from six to seven hours, could add more than $225 billion to the US economy.

    Additionally, sleep deprivation is linked to illness, disease, and other health complications that are costly on the American economy in the long run. The study found that individuals who get less than six hours of sleep per night will have 13% higher mortality risk than someone sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours.

    Ways How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Performance At The Office

    How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Productivity?

    Co-Founder ManagerUp

    Have you been experiencing an increase in moments of being short-tempered and a reduction in your focus and concentration at work? Do you always feel like you are dragging yourself out of bed each morning to work, without any real motivation? Have you ever wondered if this might be due to sleep deprivation?

    Even though seven to eight hours of sleep is recommended for adults by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a survey found that most professionals sleep for an average of just six hours and 28 minutes! Its no surprise then that just like you, so many executives and high level CEOs experience lack of energy, poor focus and lower concentration while at work.

    Sleep deficiency not only affects a persons health but also their efficiency and performance at work. It can affect an individuals image in an organization and their growth.

    Today, we will share about how sleep deprivation can significantly impact our cognitive performance, affecting your comprehension, memory, knowledge, judgment, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

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    Sleep Deprivation Effects On Energy

    A study conducted on a group of women-only participants concluded that the energy intake during sleep deprivation increased by about 20%, equivalent to 415 kcal. Additionally, another recent study found that sleep promotes the storage and conservation of energy. Sleep deficiency saps stored energy in the body during sleep deficit periods, thereby lowering your energy level during your working hours. This is bound to reflect in your productivity during a work day.

    So if you want to achieve everything you plan for your day, you need all the energy you can muster. Sleeping for 7 hours is the very first step for a power-packed day at work!

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