Drowsy at Work? Better Sleep Could Make All the Difference

Drowsy at Work? Better Sleep Could Make All the Difference

We’ve all had a workday that seemed to drag on and on. Maybe you were out late the night before, or you drank caffeine too late in the day, or maybe you just have an uncomfortable mattress. While it can happen to anyone every once in a while, if you’re not getting better sleep on a regular basis, you could start to see some real problems develop. It’s not just about feeling tired, when you sleep better you see tangible benefits in decision making, productivity, and empathy with the people you work with. Not only that, your manager will see it too, and that can only help when employee appraisals roll around and you’re gunning for that next promotion. Here’s how sleep can make work easier and help get you that raise.

Sleeping Better Eliminates Stupid Mistakes

Have you ever accidentally hit reply all to an email when you weren’t trying to? Maybe you used the wrong name when on the phone with a client. This isn’t an accident, it could very well be that sleep deprivation caused your brain to fumble in a critical moment. It’s something that Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep disorder specialist from UW-Madison, thinks is happening all the time — and it is costing businesses money. He compares it to being tipsy on the job.

“Moderate sleep deprivation impairs cognitive and motor skills as much as (or more than) alcohol intoxication,” writes Breus. “Sleep deprived people perform as poorly as those whose blood alcohol levels render them legally too drunk to drive.”

Breus believes that sleep deprivation causes 13% of workplace accidents and up to 20% of car accidents. While those numbers can be hard to verify, it’s easy to see that better sleep is a way to minimize your mistakes on the job. Consistency is key when you’re negotiating for that next big raise.

lack of sleep could impact work productivity

Better Sleep Will Make You a Charismatic leader

When that promotion does come, you’re going to want to be ready for it. Sleep can help with that. A full night’s sleep is proven to increase empathy with fellow employees, making you a better listener and able to better deal with problems as they arise. It’s a phenomenon that one sleep scientist called, “the charismatic leader” in a recent study.

“Leaders and their teams are typically going to be better served by a good night of sleep than by working so much that they crowd out sleep,” said the study’s author Christopher Barnes in a recent interview. Barnes is an associate professor of management at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. “We know that charismatic leaders tend to be more influential and more effective at leadership than leaders who are low in charisma.”

Better Sleep Increases Morale and Memory

It’s not just about being good to other people, better sleep will make your workday better for you. Sleep increases memory function, which often makes day to day functions much easier. It also increases your mood and morale on a basic level, making work a more enjoyable and manageable experience. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut on the job, don’t fret, just try getting better sleep and see if that doesn’t turn things around for you. You’re productivity will be high, and you’ll feel like a new employee again. Sleep is the most important tool you aren’t using in your work arsenal, and it’s time that you used it! Get out there and get that raise!

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