Why getting enough sleep will boost your productivity

We’ve always known that sleep is important, but it’s only recently we’ve learned how it impacts so many aspects of our lives. For instance, it’s vital for the likes of hormone function, exercise, a healthy weight and preventing us from getting diseases. Conversely, our sleeping habits over the past few decades have become worse and worse. Many of us get too little sleep, and many more suffer poor quality sleep.

Why does it boost productivity?

There’s a huge body of research that tells us that we need sleep to work more efficiently, and that a lack of it affects our performance, whether our job requires physical fitness or mental prowess. We know sleep improves brain function and a study of more than 4,000 workers in the US estimated that productivity per worker was almost $2,000 less per year in staff who suffered poor sleep.

Why should I ensure I get enough sleep?

It will make you safer, happier and more productive at work. One of the main reasons people don’t get enough sleep is because of work overload or worrying about work. This creates a vicious cycle, as this lack of sleep leads to less work being completed.

How can I boost my sleep?

A lot of it is about routine and consistency. You have something called a circadian rhythm, whereby your body’s clock uses cues to tell you when it’s time to sleep. Exposing yourself to natural sunlight and daylight during the day helps your body to register that you should be alert at this time. Then, when it’s dark, your body will prepare for sleep. Blue light – the sort that comes from the likes of phones and computers – is detrimental to sleep because it tricks your body into thinking it’s still daylight, so it’s best to minimise this before going to bed.

Caffeine in the evening, or even in the afternoon, can make it difficult to fall asleep, as it stays in the system for several hours. Alcohol appears to help, but in actual fact makes things worse because it lowers your sleep quality.

Finally, you should prepare a bedtime routine and stick to it, minimising light and noise, keeping the temperature consistent, sinking into your most comfortable mattress and wearing your favourite nightdress.

It might all seem over the top, but the truth is your body will soon learn when to sleep and, so long as you keep your routine consistent, you’ll find you work better, your enjoyment of life improves and you become a healthier person.

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