Getting enough sleep is not a luxury reserved for the weekends or when you’re on vacation. Sure, we’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep when our schedules feel less cramped, or when there’s an inviting hammock swaying between two palm trees. But the reality of daily life is that your schedule is likely crowded for the long haul, and vacations only happen every so often throughout the year. You owe it to your health to get a good night’s sleep every night. Your body will thank you for it, too. It turns out that sleep has some very important connections to your health. Simply put, you can’t afford to skimp.
It’s no secret that we all have our special preferences – just stand in line at the coffee shop and you’ll hear countless drink orders, from soy milk to vanilla flavoring or extra ice and cinnamon sprinkles. Knowing what we like and don’t like is part of what makes us human.
That doesn’t always make us right, though. Sometimes we don’t know ourselves as well as we’d like to think! Take sleep, for instance. Many of us think we have a handle on how much sleep we need. But scientific studies show otherwise. Over the long term, sleep deprivation and chronic lack of sleep actually make it harder for us to accurately gauge whether we are getting the appropriate amount of sleep.
If your inventory of the Monday morning conference table summons up images of bleary-eyed employees pouring a third cup of coffee to stay awake, or blotting away the cold symptoms they’ve been unable to kick, it’s probably time to rethink your organizations’s health management strategies. And it’s probably time to include a sleep program.
Insomnia is the most prevalent of all sleep disorders. This is due in part to the general nature of the diagnosis. Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early, or feeling generally unrefreshed the next day all fall under the insomnia umbrella. Another reason why insomnia is so common is because sleep is easily disrupted by many things such as stress, illness, or even travel.
The next time you tell yourself that you’ll sleep when you’re dead, realize that you’re making a decision that can make that day come much sooner. Pushing late into the night is a health and productivity killer.
According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, the short-term productivity gains from skipping sleep to work are quickly washed away by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on your mood, ability to focus, and access to higher-level brain functions for days to come. The negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep.
Feeling emotionally overwhelmed during times of stress and can't figure out why? Your current sleeping habits might offer some helpful insight.
According to findings in Sleep and Affect: Assessment, Theory and Clinical Implications, a new book from University of Arkansas psychology professor Matthew Feldner and National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder health science specialist Kimberly Babson, we are more likely to react emotionally to stressful situations when we are sleep deprived.
Previous research has linked sleep loss with anxiety and mood disorders, so this additional study corroborated those results as well as expanded symptom observation beyond anxiety and depression specifically.
They say that you have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce -- so why does it feel like you’re never able to get caught up on your business to-do list?
Apart from not having your own team of personal assistants, stylists and other hangers-on, it could be your habits that are keeping you from achieving your business goals. Fortunately, habits can be broken.
Here are 10 habits you should ditch right away to improve your productivity:
“How did you sleep last night?”
We often ask our family members and house guests this question over breakfast. But should business leaders be just as concerned about how well—and how much—their employees are sleeping?
Research into the science of sleep has proven what most people figure out through life experience: When we don’t get enough shuteye, we’re not our best selves. We aren’t as alert, focused, or creative as we are after a restful night. Instead, we’re crankier, more impatient, and less enthusiastic—about both life and work.