What’s your ideal day at work? Is it one in which you tackle issues – both typical and unexpected – with calmness, clarity, and critical thinking?
Or, is it one in which you feel pressured, foggy, and just itching to escape an ever-growing pile of responsibilities?
It’s obvious which day you’d prefer.
Your sleep is your most valuable resource
The key to all of this is a good night’s sleep because the quality of your downtime affects the quality of your work performance. When you are not sleep-deprived, you:
- Make better decisions
- Find creative solutions
- Manage time more efficiently
- Keep calm under pressure
- Have better attention to detail
- Face challenges with positivity
When you get fewer than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep – or your sleep simply isn’t restful – the skills listed above deteriorate. You lose the professional strengths that are needed to perform to the best of your ability.
Bad sleep is a cash drain for businesses
Sleep-deprived employees struggle to engage fully with the tasks before them. As a result, no matter how great their work culture or their leaders are, they struggle to reach their full potential.
In the Australian Sleep Health Foundation’s 2017 study with Deloitte Access Economics, it was discovered that 4 out of 10 Australians suffer from inadequate sleep. They found that this makes it hard to function at normal levels of alertness, concentration and emotional control.
So, a potential 40% of your team is susceptible to errors, missed deadlines, fewer smart choices, and less problem-solving.
To make matters worse, one 2011 study in the US, Sleep Disorders and Work Performance, states that no matter how long your night’s sleep is, if the quality is poor then it can still lead to impairments. This can cause disorganisation and even impatience with co-workers. In the long run, that kind of behaviour affects everyone in the workplace.
The Sleep Health Foundation’s research shows that this issue costs our economy approximately $17.9 billion a year in lost productivity. That averages out at – and this is scary, so hold tight – $2,418 per sleep-deprived person.
In fact, they estimate that the average sleepy worker is 1.6% less productive than someone who arrives well-rested – and those stats add up over time. The study also found that it’s usually workers in their forties who are most affected by bad sleep.
Luckily, I have good news. Sleep issues are something I’ve dealt with since I was a little girl. Since spending thousands of hours (and a lot more dollars) reading from, listening to, and speaking with experts, I now understand that the foundation of better sleep is sticking to strong habits every night.
Here are my top 3 tips for improving your sleep – and as a result, your workday:
- Create a buffer between your work time and your rest time. Have a sleep ritual so your body and brain both know it’s time to wind down and relax. Click to tweet
- Do not use any devices for at least an hour before you intend to go to sleep. Immerse yourself in a good fiction book instead.
- Be strict with the time you turn off the lights and the time you get up at each day.
Need More Help?
If your tiredness is becoming a problem at work, check out my Sleep Worksheet. Hopefully you will find a couple of ideas that you can implement into your own life – allowing you to fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer.
I’d love to hear of the tips you do each day to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.