We all want an edge at work — something that boosts our productivity and makes us stand out from our colleagues.
Little do we know, that edge could start in the bedroom. The data is clear that consistently getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to become more productive during the workday and better at your job overall.
Need convincing? Here’s why going all-in on restful sleep needs to be your next big career move.
You’re More Likely to Stay on Task
People who sleep poorly or not enough have more trouble managing distractions, according to a major study reported by Psychology Today. Dealing with distractions in the workplace has always been important for productivity, but never more so than today, when neverending flurries of emails and chats are the norm and colleagues, bosses, and clients expect responses at a moment’s notice.
Sleep Is Good for Short-Term Recall
Another benefit of good sleep is better short-term recall. The same process that links poor sleep and distractibility is at work here, hampering the brain’s efforts to process and remember information as it comes through. A good night’s sleep can improve working memory, which in turn improves performance on the job.
According to RnA ReSet, magnesium can help you sleep better. One of the ways magnesium works is to counteract the stress in the brain by stimulating GABA receptors. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter that slows brain activity. When your GABA is low, the brain becomes stuck in an “on” position and struggles to relax. People struggling with this often lie awake with racing thoughts, finding something new to worry about constantly.
You Could Make Fewer Errors
We’ve all been there: tired and groggy after sleeping too little or not restfully. We trudge through the day at half-speed, feeling like we can do nothing right. And we have a point, as poor sleep is clearly correlated with higher rates of errors and mistakes. Sleeping better won’t suddenly turn you into a perfect employee who never makes mistakes, but it will definitely reduce your risk of making preventable work errors that you come to regret.
Your Response Time Will Increase
This one is particularly important for workers with physically demanding jobs. Where quick reflexes and undivided attention are basic requirements of the job, a slow response time isn’t merely a productivity issue. It can quickly become a safety issue that puts you and your colleagues at risk of injury.
Restful Sleep Could Tamp Down Your Appetite
Although the relationship is complicated, it appears that people who get enough restful sleep consume fewer calories than people who don’t sleep enough or sleep poorly during the night. Quality sleep is associated with better regulation of body weight and metabolism, so the calories we do consume after a restful night go to better use. By taking fewer snack breaks and digesting our meals more efficiently, we have more time to stay on task and less time spent dealing with the dreaded afternoon food coma.
Sleep Is Associated With Lower Levels of Stress
Quality sleep is associated with lower levels of day-to-day stress. Because stressed-out workers tend to make more mistakes and manage challenges less efficiently, this directly improves productivity and could have long-term career benefits as well. Simple changes like limiting your screen time before bed, using a sleep tracking app, and upgrading your sleeping surface to a Slumber Search-approved mattress can make a big difference.
Sleep Is Associated With Better Overall Mental Health, Too
People who consistently get enough restful sleep tend to show better mental health outcomes. When we’re in a good place to focus on the tasks at hand, rather than everything else going on in our lives, we’re more likely to be productive day in and day out.
Poor Sleep May Increase the Risk of Chronic Medical Issues That Can Affect Work Performance
According to the Centers for Disease Control, poor sleep is responsible for several chronic medical issues that can adversely impact work performance indefinitely. The CDC specifically calls out obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes as conditions for which people who don’t get enough sleep could be at higher risk.
Chronic health conditions impact productivity in many ways, including absenteeism. If your condition’s symptoms or management result in your missing work days or taking more frequent breaks during the day, your productivity could suffer. Eventually, so could your career.
Restful Sleep Could Reduce Your Chances of Burnout
On top of reducing your risk of chronic health conditions that could reduce your productivity over time, restful sleep could keep you emotionally fit to go the distance. People who sleep more, and more restfully, are better equipped to deal with adversity in work and life. The better prepared you are to face and conquer challenges as they come, the more productive you’ll be from day to day and the likelier you’ll be to advance in your career.
Sleep Well and Wake Up Ready for the Day
We all need a good night’s sleep, even those of us who pride ourselves on burning the midnight oil and getting by with four or five restless hours each night. Why fight such a basic human need?
Let’s all promise to listen to our bodies more closely. To eat when we need to eat, hydrate when we need to hydrate, and sleep when we need to sleep. It sounds simple enough, and as we’ve seen, simple changes can pay off handsomely in time.