How Does Sleep Affect Productivity?

How Does Sleep Affect Productivity?

Posted By Ian on Sep 17, 2018

A lack of sleep makes you less productive. That’s not rocket science, you feel it on days you roll into the office on only a couple hours of sleep. What do you do? Chug a coffee or red bull and try not to nod off during a meeting, but how are sleep and productivity actually linked? What does science (and the economy) have to say about our national sleep debt?


The results are in, and while you may know that sleep and productivity are cause and effect, you may be surprised to learn how directly correlated they are. Read on and get a new perspective on why eight hours in the bedroom is going to translate to continued success in the boardroom.

Why is Not Getting Enough Sleep Bad? You Take More Sick Days.

You take more sick days. Simply put, sleep and productivity are linked directly, but that’s just one facet of how sleep affects your body. Sleep (specifically deep sleep) is when your body mends and refreshes itself. A recent study showed that people who slept more only took 4.6 sick days a year as opposed to those who slept less and took on average 8.9.


That means sleep and productivity start with you showing up for work. If you’re not there (because your body is breaking down), then you’re putting undue stress on yourself and also your coworkers. Sleep deprivation is so serious that the Harvard business school estimates that it costs $63 billion to the US economy.

How Does Lack of Sleep Affect the Body? You’re Slower on the Job.

It slows your body down, sometimes in dramatic ways. A 2012 journal of vision study found that speed and accuracy were significantly decreased the longer study participants were awake. That means that even if you’re doing more work late at night, your returns are getting less and less. Don’t prep for that presentation at the cost of a full night’s sleep, your results are going to be better if you use that time to refresh your mind and body instead.


Sleeping more is also associated with the “executive skills” so named because they are used so often in higher levels of management. Not only does sleep increase your working memory capacity, it also makes you more empathetic, and less likely to make mental miscues. Putting an emphasis on sleep and productivity is a perfect recipe if you’re gunning for that next promotion, or want to leave your mark on your department in a big way. Plan to succeed, plan for sleep.

Is Lack of Sleep Dangerous? Dramatic Changes for Your Body.

In a word? Absolutely. Not only are sleep and productivity directly related, so are sleep and health. It’s not just in the short term that sleep debt affects your life. Lack of sleep is directly correlated to inflammation, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even early death. We’re not just trying to scare you here, but it’s worth looking at the effect of a lifetime sleep debt. It’s something that employers are now emphasizing, with tech giants like Google and Facebook figuring out ways to keep their employees well-slept and healthy. An investment in sleep is an investment in human resources.

Sleep Affects How Much Money You Make

It isn’t just a physical change, if you sleep more, you make more. That’s not just a theory, The Wall Street Journal found that one extra hour of sleep on average could increase your wages by about 16% over the long haul. There are many factors that went into the study, but basically, the well-slept are better able to deal with change, make strong decisions, and are less likely to take sick days. Those are all great qualities when an employer is looking for a strong candidate to promote or recruit.

What are the Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep Long Term? Burnout.

The long-term prospects for any job have a lot to do with your mental state. How are you planning for the future and where do you see yourself in your company? These things become impossible when work piles up and you’re getting less than six hours a night of sleep. A recent study showed that when you sleep less, you’re not able to recover from stress in occupational settings. That means that the little nags and bothers that pile up during the week are never resolved, and can lead to bigger problems like work burnout or even depression.


Don’t get burned out at the job, have your sleep and productivity at an all-time high and see the results in your paycheck. When you take time for sleep, it means taking time for yourself, and that almost always results in a good outcome at work. If you’re looking for a mattress that works as hard as you do, check out the DreamCloud. It’s got support for your back, but with a luxury comfort that feels like a promotion to a whole new level of sleep.