Up late to finish a work project? Did you set your alarm early to go over your presentation one more time? While neither of these habits is detrimental on its own, if it’s reducing your sleep time to less than seven hours, you could be hurting your productivity. Your full potential—creative, professional, and personal—requires a body that’s functioning at peak efficiency and that means adequate sleep.
Sleep for Fast, Clear Thinking
The human brain, like the rest of the body, relies on sleep to keep everything running at full speed. For example, while you sleep your brain cells shrink so that spinal fluid can move between the cells to flush out a day’s worth of toxic proteins. The brain also strengthens and prunes the most and least used connections to keep communication moving between all of your body’s systems.
The clear focused thinking that comes from a good night’s rest fuels your productivity.
Boost Performance with Emotional Stability
Anger, irritability, and even sadness can interfere with your ability to produce high-quality work. Your brain’s emotional center becomes hyper-reactive to any kind of negative stimulation when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. At the same time, the logic center becomes less influential and quieter. Together, these changes amplify your negative emotional responses, which can affect your ability to work with colleagues or clients.
Sleep brings the emotional stability necessary to handle the stress and setbacks that are a normal part of the workplace.
Sleep Increases Your Physical Energy
Sleep is essential to your physical energy levels too. It’s while you’re in the deepest of sleep stages that the body heals muscle fatigue and damage from the previous day. If you cut that time short, or keep an irregular sleep schedule, the body doesn’t spend enough time restoring itself. Consequently, you’re left feeling fatigued and sore.
Whether your job requires physical labor or you sit at a desk, you need to feel physically refreshed and mentally awake to reach your full potential.
Open to Change
Productivity and sleep go together like peanut butter and jelly, eggs and bacon, or salt and pepper. To get that sleep, you may have to make a few changes to your lifestyle or bedroom. A new mattress, earlier bedtime, or more outdoor exercise can all bring better (and more) sleep.
Be patient as any worthwhile change takes time, but remember, in the end, it’s worth it.