It’s a well-known fact that sleep is essential for everyday functioning, allowing us to feel rested and energized, lifting our mood, and positively affecting our physical and mental health. However, what many people don’t know is that proper sleep could also directly impact our job performance, by improving mental clarity, increasing our problem-solving capabilities, and boosting productivity and efficiency. But in the busy, overworked, and overscheduled world we live in, sleep deprivation is a more common occurrence, one that negatively affects everything from our performance at work to our overall health. If you want to learn more about this common issue, keep on reading to find out how to use sleep as an effective performance-enhancing tool:
What exactly is sleep deprivation?
Simply put, sleep deprivation is the direct result of not getting enough restful sleep each night. While it’s recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, a significant percentage of adults sleep for less than the required 7 hours at night, leading to common feelings of sleep deprivation. As anyone can be deprived of sleep, regardless of their age, job, or lifestyle, the symptoms of this condition might vary from person to person as well. However, the most common side-effects include accidentally dozing off throughout the day, not feeling refreshed and recharged in the morning, as well as sudden and inexplicable changes in our mood and abilities.
How does poor sleep affect our work?
Even if we lose just a couple of hours of sleep several nights in a row, it can significantly impact our ability to function optimally. Sleep deprivation can lead to a lack of cognitive function, preventing us from thinking clearly, focusing on important tasks, and even forming memories. In turn, we are less alert and our response times are slower, thus affecting our job performance. What’s more, a lack of proper sleep has also been shown to increase our chances of workplace accidents and injuries, even impairing our driving abilities during commutes. Evidently, improving our sleep is the key to increased attention, better productivity, and optimal work performance.
Building an ideal sleeping environment
In order to increase the length and quality of your sleep, a comfortable and inviting sleeping environment is incredibly important. While it might seem insignificant at first, aspects such as low-quality bedding, poor lighting, and the wrong temperature can all negatively affect our sleep. For that reason, it’s recommended to invest in beautiful Wake In Cloud bedding that’s as high-quality and durable as it is beautiful and cozy. Such quality bedding is truly essential for a good night’s sleep. Similarly, keeping your bedroom as dark as possible, removing any noise from the room, and lowering the temperature to a comfortable cool can also help with sleep improvement.
Creating an improved sleep schedule
Apart from the right sleeping environment, focusing on improving your sleep schedule can also be of great help for your nightly rest. This means going to bed and waking up at the same times each day, in an effort to allow your body to get used to a consistent sleep rhythm. Exercising earlier in the day can also help to tire you out for bedtime, but you should be particularly careful of what you consume in the hours prior to going to sleep. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, heavy meals, as well as the blue light emitted from screens can all disrupt the quality of your sleep.
Developing a better nighttime routine
While there are many aspects that could prevent you from getting a good night’s rest, there are also a number of helpful tools and techniques you could use in order to fall asleep more easily, especially if you have issues with going to bed earlier at night. For instance, practicing meditation or relaxation techniques will get both your mind and your body in the right state for sleep. A warm bath could also allow you to relax and unwind before bedtime, while reading a good book or listening to calming music might lull you to a restful and pleasant sleep.
Considering shorter daily naps
In case you still struggle with tiredness and drowsiness throughout the day, particularly around midday, taking a power nap could also be quite beneficial. Whether you do it at home or even at the office, a short nap around 10 to 20 minutes long can have quite a positive impact on your cognitive functions. Even such a short period of rest can help to boost focus, increase alertness, improve logical reasoning, encourage productivity, and provide you with all the tools you need in order to perform optimally at work.
While you won’t be able to improve your sleep habits instantly, positive changes can easily come with enough practice, persistence, and patience. And once you are able to achieve a better quantity and quality of sleep, you will finally be able to feel your best, and consequently increase your job performance.