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Image / Editorial

How Sleep Loss Can Affect Your Work Performance


By Jennifer McShane
06th Apr 2017
How Sleep Loss Can Affect Your Work Performance

We know the importance of a good night’s sleep. We read about catching extra zzz’s; we talk about it and (especially when it comes to work)?we always yearn for more of them. And perhaps we’ve not all embraced it as Ariana Huffington has – she sleeps soundly at night after a hectic lifestyle left her drained and worn out and wrote two best-selling books on the subject – but we know that we need quality rest to ensure productivity.

But how many have rocked into the office with hair a little too tousled and rims still under your eyes as a result of only 3-4 hours rest? I am one of those people and I choose to blame?Netflix. Not only is this sleep loss frighteningly bad for your overall health and wellbeing, but it also means your working life is severely affected. It affects your mood, how you feel and how you act in your professional environment, according to a new study.

As well as tiredness, sleep deprivation can also cause “unwanted behaviour” says a study from Rotterdam School of Management, which can cost businesses billions.

?To examine the connection between sleep and behaviour in the workplace, researcher Lauar Giurge sent out text messages over ten consecutive working days to a group of professionals. She asked them to report how well they had slept and rate their activity at work, such as taking a longer lunch break or being rude towards a colleague.

Giurge found that even one bad night’s sleep can have a strong influence over people who would otherwise not behave that way. “This study shows that the display of unwanted behaviour is not a fixed character trait,” Giurge says. “It can vary from day to day, even within the same person.” So, if you’ve found yourself being unexpectedly snappy for a day (and this is unusual for you), lack of sleep is likely the reason for it.

“Whatever the reason for starting it, a night of poor sleep can make it harder for someone to stop doing it. Tiredness apparently can make it harder for people to overcome the feeling that they have failed and try again the next day.”

So do yourself a favour and get some extra rest. Science and research have found that sleep is linked to a number of benefits, including happiness, creativity and being a better morning person.