It's old news - Americans, on average, get 90-minutes less sleep than the recommended eight hours a night. The same is true in the UK and Japan. Yet, in some professions, staying at the office late into the night is viewed as admirable and there is still an incorrect perception that sleeping a lot is for lazy people.
WHAT'S THE HARM IN GETTING A LITTLE LESS SLEEP?
In a recent podcast, Dr. Matthew Walker provides some alarming facts.
Did you know that:
- Chronic exhaustion costs the US about $411 billion a year?
- The shorter you sleep, the shorter your life?
- Lack of sleep is associated with: Alzheimer's, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression, and suicide?
- The impact on your mental acuity of getting four hours too little sleep is the same as drinking a six-pack of beer?
Think about it this way...
How would you feel if your heart surgeon was short on sleep?
Or the pilot of your airplane?
A FEW MORE TRUTHS:
Employees suffering from sleep deprivation:
- take on less challenging assignments
- are less creative
- are less productive
- contribute less to team efforts
- are more likely to engage in unethical behavior like lying or cheating.
IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS ABOUT SLEEP?
Yes! Check out these 7 benefits of getting enough sleep:
- Sleep is essential for the reproductive system.
- Sleep regulates insulin and blood glucose levels.
- Sleep reboots your entire body; including your brain.
- Sleep regulates appetite, weight, and food consumption.
- Sleep boosts your immune system.
- Sleep improves memory.
- Sleep enhances problem-solving.
HOW CAN I GET BETTER SLEEP?
Tom Rath, the author of Eat Move Sleep, suggests the following strategies for getting a better night's sleep:
- Keep the room a few degrees cooler.
- Use a white noise machine.
- Turn screens off at least one hour before bed.
- View sleep as a family value; not as a punishment.
- Allocate extra time for bedtime routines and falling asleep (being in bed for 8 hours does not usually translate to 8 hours of sleep).
3 WAYS TO FIND MORE TIME TO SLEEP:
- If you are tired at night, try going to sleep and doing your work when you are refreshed in the morning. The work will take less time and be better quality.
- When planning your day, match up your most challenging work with the time of day when you work best (for most people this is in the morning).
- Save less challenging work for when you have lower energy.
Taking the steps above should save you time. If you still have too much to do, think about saying "no" more often. When you're tempted to say "yes" remember that insufficient sleep can shorten your life. Is it really worth it?
WANT MORE PRODUCTIVITY TIPS?
Available on Amazon.