sleep and work performanceeA job is an important part of American culture. Americans work an average of 1,800 hours a year. That’s nearly 35 hours a week. In other words, we spend a lot of time at work. In return, employers pay us money for that time, and they expect results. That means you have to be at your best during work hours.

In order to be productive, you must get enough sleep. It’s not good to be tired and thus not be at your peak performance. That’s a good way to either get in trouble with the boss or lose your job. Below are several ways that sleep can help you be a more productive employee.

Improved memory function

You don’t want to be forgetful at work. When you are rested, your brain is able to think more clearly, and your memory is improved. In fact, recent studies prove that sleep changes the brain and increases the brain’s ability to form memories. A study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center used magnetic resonance imaging to study the brain during sleep. It found that memories are vulnerable to being lost when they are first formed, but sleep is thought to enhance the memory. Thus, they have a better chance of “sticking” when you get enough sleep.

Improved concentration

When you are tired, you get that foggy feeling, and it can be challenging to concentrate. According to the Great British Sleep Survey, a person who struggled to get enough sleep is three times more likely to have difficulty concentrating. That means you will have a hard time conducting a task and being productive at work when you are tired.

Mood

Nobody wants to work with somebody who is in a bad mood, and you are more likely to be grouchy at work without enough sleep. Even slight periods of sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on your mood.  A University of Pennsylvania study looked at people who were getting 4.5 hours of sleep a night. After a week, the patients were noticeably angrier and stressed. Fortunately, when they returned to a normal sleep schedule, their mood improved.

Bodily health

Besides the psychological problems associated with a lack of sleep, there are numerous health risks. Diabetes, heart trouble, headaches, and obesity are all associated with not getting enough sleep. You will not be a very productive employee when you are battling health problems. A person needs an average of eight hours of sleep a night, but that can be challenging in today’s fast-paced world. It’s best to find the time to get the required amount of rest, so you can be in top form at work.

Moral Judgments

In the business world, you often make decisions that impact people. Many of these can be moral in nature, depending on your type of work. Sleep deprivation can have a profound impact on your ability to make the correct moral decision. A study in the Journal Sleep looked at 26 adults, and it provided them with moral dilemmas. They were faced with the situations after 53 hours of being awake. Researcher’s study found that sleep-deprived people had a difficult time coming to a moral decision and leaned toward making less moral decisions.

Avoid burnout

You can have burnout in any profession, and sleep deprivation is associated with $63.2 billion in lost productivity each year. You are more likely to have a long and productive career if you get enough sleep. That way you will be motivated and are more likely to enjoy your job. You don’t want to show up at work and not enjoy the experience. We spend too many hours each year at work not to enjoy it.

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