Just How Essential Is Sleep If You Want to to Succeed in Your Career?

December 14, 2017

Insufficient sleep has been declared by the Centers  for Disease Control as the most under-appreciated health crisis in America, with one in three adults not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep per day. While tiredness and lack of sleep have been known to cause industrial disasters, traffic accidents, and other safety risks, sleep deprivation can also cause negative effects on other important matters,  such as your career path.

In 2016, Professor Vicki Culpin of the Hult International Business School conducted a study on the effects of sleep deprivation on 1,000 professionals. She found that spending a longer time in the office is not necessarily a sign of productivity, especially if the hours come at the expense of sleep.

Stress and an overabundance of tasks can make it tempting to put sleep at the bottom of your priorities, but here are some reasons why getting enough sleep at home is just as important as accomplishing tasks and attending meetings at work.

You’re more alert and focused

A lack of sleep can cause problems related to memory, concentration, reaction time, judgment, and decision-making. Research conducted by the University of South Wales revealed that shaving two hours off the recommended number of hours of sleep per night had the same effect on work performance as being legally drunk.

This corroborates the Hult study cited earlier which also linked sleep deprivation to a difficulty in staying focused, needing more time to complete tasks, and struggling to generate new ideas.

You’re less likely to take sick days

Sleep deprivation has also been associated with several immediate and long-term health problems. In addition to feeling tired, sleep-deprived employees tend to experience heartburn and palpitations, and are nearly three times more likely to develop a cold than those who regularly have enough sleep. Moreover, decreased immune functions have been linked to a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and dementia.

Furthermore, if  insufficient sleep becomes a habit, it can cause people to crave unhealthy food and worsen the problem, as mentioned by Berkshire Natural co-founder Alden Bourne in a previous blog post.

You’re more pleasant to be around clients and teammates

In addition, the social, emotional, and psychological well-being of professionals may get affected. The effects of sleep deprivation include frayed nerves and irritability, as well as higher levels of stress, anxiety, and feelings of frustration.

You’re ready to take on more in the future

Not getting enough sleep can also make it difficult for professionals to be optimistic about the future and stay motivated to learn new things. According to a blog post by e-commerce mattress company Leesa, a healthy sleeping pattern allows the brain to not only recharge itself for the days ahead, but also to help professionals succeed through various benefits when it comes to improving skills which are useful in the workplace like creativity, critical thinking and multi-tasking. Constantly developing your skillset gives you the capability to climb the ladder of your chosen career much faster.

All in all, balancing hard work with rest is one of the keys to building a good career.