If you have been feeling like your work performance has been suffering lately, lack of sleep could be the culprit. Overall, 30 percent of employed American adults get less sleep than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How does this affect your work performance?
Sleep plays a huge role in the ability to perform, even when it comes to basic skills. Scientific research is revealing how sleep loss, and even poor-quality sleep, can lead to an increase in errors at the workplace, decreased productivity, and accidents that cost both lives and resources. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood, our ability to focus, and our ability to access higher-level cognitive functions. In addition to feeling sleepy, as well as other changes in brain activity that accompany a night without sleep, abilities are noticeably altered. Concentration, working memory and logical reasoning are all aspects of cognitive function compromised by sleep deprivation.
There are many reasons why people suffer from sleep deprivation. Maybe you can’t get comfortable, or your mind won’t shut down for the night. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to help get a better night’s sleep.
Cut out the caffeine: While caffeine can be helpful for getting a jumpstart on your day, if you continue to consume caffeine throughout the day, you will most likely have trouble falling asleep at night. Stay away from caffeine from the afternoon on, or opt for something like tea, which has a smaller amount of caffeine than coffee.
Exercise: Cardio exercise seems to be a natural cure for insomniacs. The timing and intensity of exercise plays a role in its effects on sleep. Other perks of regular exercise include more energy during the day, better circulation, lower stress, and a boosted immune system.
Avoid alcohol before bed: Although alcohol may help people fall asleep, it also causes disturbances in sleep, resulting in a less restful slumber. Consuming alcohol before bed also increases the chances that you’ll wake up during the night.
Stick to a sleep schedule: Go to bed and get up around the same time every day, even on the weekends. Having a consistent sleep schedule reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. It also helps you fall asleep faster and get up earlier.
Watch what you eat: While you shouldn’t go to bed hungry, avoid heavy meals before bedtime. Try not to eat after 8pm because if you feel too full, your discomfort might keep you up. Also limit how much you drink before bed so that you don’t have to keep getting up to use the bathroom.
Limit your afternoon naps: If you have problems falling asleep, napping will only make your problems worse. If you really need to nap, keep it under 20 minutes.
Develop a bedtime ritual: Get ready for bed in the same way every night so that your body knows it’s time to wind down. This might include taking a warm shower, reading a book, or listening to quiet music. Relaxing activities help promote better sleep by easing the transition between being awake and falling asleep. Stay away from stimulating activities such as watching TV or using the computer.
Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable: Most people need absolute quiet or darkness in order to sleep through the night. Use earplugs, window blinds or curtains, and regulate your air system to create an ideal sleep environment. Don’t use the overhead light if you need to get up during the night; use a small night-light instead. Also, the ideal room temperatures for sleeping are between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Getting a full night’s rest is crucial to your health. Not only will it help you concentrate and function better during the day, but it will also help relieve stress and fatigue.