We’re all well aware of how important sleep is for our overall health and wellbeing. We’re recommended eight hours of sleep each night for good reason – sleep can help your body to clear toxins, can give your body time to repair the damage, and can also help you to process what has happened during the day, allowing you to dispose of needless information and retain important information. However, all too many people still underestimate the benefits that come hand in hand with catching sufficient z’s. People will stay up late to catch up on work, chat with friends, watch TV, or otherwise spend their time in a way that they see as more enjoyable or productive.
But this is doing no benefits for you overall. Believe it or not, sleep can even have an impact on your career. Did you know that getting plenty of sleep can actually make you a better leader? This could help you to thrive in a management role or work your way up to a position with more responsibility and, perhaps, better pay and flexibility. If you’re running a business or are self-employed, this could benefit you in keeping you more authoritative and productive, carving your path to success more effectively and efficiently. Here’s more information to inspire you.
Scientific research into sleep and productivity has gone to show exactly how much of a difference having a good night’s sleep can make to the following working day. Without seven to eight hours’ sleep, people often struggle, failing at projects and not getting sufficient work done. Chronic lack of sleep can also see these issues to span over extended periods of time.
When you get enough sleep, you will find it much easier to focus on the tasks and projects you have at hand. This is shown through a series of experiments conducted at Washington State University in Spokane. The studies showed that participants who hadn’t had enough sleep performed poorly on a test called the Psychomotor Vigilance Test. This is a simple and straightforward, 10-minute test that asks subjects to push a button every time a light turns on. Already commonly used as a test for the effects of sleep deprivation. Participants who had been kept awake for 62 hours prior to the test performed very poorly. They also used a group who had had just six hours of sleep a night for two weeks, who also performed poorly despite not feeling so tired at the time. This shows the negative impact of chronic sleep deprivation on work.
Judgment is an essential part of any role you may be working in. An experiment conducted by the University of L’Aquila in Italy took 42 subjects and restricted them to five hours of sleep a night for five nights. The participants were then shown 90 images designed to elicit emotional responses that were positive, negative, or neutral. All subjects consistently viewed the negative images in a negative way. However, sleep-deprived subjects also saw the neutral and positive images in a more negative light, showing pessimism and poor judgment as a result of not getting enough quality sleep. As you can imagine, this could negatively impact their work and decisions that they would make within their roles when not getting sufficient sleep.
Improved Problem Solving
Nowadays, creativity is often associated with problem-solving skills. Researchers consider REM and deep sleep can aid your creativity, so a lack of REM (dreaming) sleep or deep sleep could negatively impact your creativity as well as your problem-solving skills. This was looked into further by researchers at Lancaster University in England. These specialists decided to provide 63 subjects with a series of problems, varying in difficulty. Those who had slept well tended to perform better in this task. This implies that these would serve us better workers. After all, when at work, we are always posed with problems, challenges, and hurdles to overcome, and the faster and more effectively we can do this, the better the company will benefit from our efforts.
As you can see, sleep really is pretty important when it comes to making you a better worker and a better leader. So, no matter how busy you are and how many things you still need to do, make sure that you’re getting your eight hours’ worth a night. It is the foundation for you to get these things done. You will benefit from it in more ways than just health and wellbeing – you could become a better leader at work too.