The Effects of Sleep on Productivity
If you’ve ever been told (or told someone yourself) to get a “good night’s sleep,” it’s probably because you know how important sleep really is. If that’s the case, then why do one in three adults report they are not getting enough sleep? Sleep deprivation can cause you to make mistakes, feel groggy and can even have a negative effect on your overall health. Here’s a breakdown of just a few of those effects:
How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
While there is no magic number of how much sleep you should get, studies have found a general amount, that varies for different age groups. Newborns and babies will initially sleep anywhere from 16 to 18 hours per day. School-aged children and teenagers should average about 9.5 hours of sleep per night, while it’s recommended that adults aged 18 and up should do their best to get 7-9 hours of sleep in order to feel refreshed when they wake.
Insufficient Sleep Leads to Insufficient Work
If you did not get enough rest, the first place you will probably feel the consequences will be at work. It’s no surprise that if you don’t get enough sleep, your productivity suffers. You’ll find yourself having less energy and reacting slower in certain situations. Without a good night’s rest you’ll probably be less creative and unable to focus, while also having a difficult time making decisions and solving problems (all effects your employer probably won’t be too happy with).
If You Can’t Remember, It’s Probably Because You Skipped REM
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep usually occurs 90 minutes after falling asleep and is the phase in your sleeping pattern when dreams are made and when our brain consolidates memories. Because REM usually occurs in the latter part of the sleeping stage, if you’re not sleeping long enough, you’ll miss out on REM sleep which has been associated with chronic insomnia.
Lack of Sleep Costs More Than You Think
A study conducted by RAND found that the lack of sleep among the U.S. workforce is costing businesses approximately $411 billion per year. Researchers also found that a person who sleeps on average less than six hours a night has a 10 percent higher mortality risk than someone who averages seven and nine hours of sleep. We hope you consider these statistics the next time you think functioning on a few hours of sleep isn’t that big of a deal.