The Irrigator

The impacts of sleep quality on daily productivity and well-being

Photo by Shutterstock.
Photo by Shutterstock.
The impacts of sleep quality on daily productivity and well-being
The impacts of sleep quality on daily productivity and well-being

The quality of sleep you get every night can have a significant impact on your productivity levels at work.

A poor night's sleep can often result in decreased performance and productivity in the office, while a good solid seven to nine hours of sleep can set you up nicely for a successful day.

In this post, we will explore the connection between sleep, work, and productivity and to what degree they affect each other.

We'll also provide you with some tips to sleep better every night if you are currently struggling to do so.

The impact of sleep on work and productivity

Sleep is an essential biological function we all need every day.

If we don't get good sleep over a consistent period, it can significantly affect our physical health, cognitive abilities and emotional well-being.

In turn, this can influence our ability to retain information, maintain focus and concentrate on the tasks we do at work.

By contrast, the better night's sleep we get, the more our productivity levels and work performance increase.

Indeed, several studies have shown that people who get good sleep every day tend to make better decisions, are more productive and can manage stress better.

Why is sleep so important?

What makes sleep so important is the restorative qualities it provides us.

During the non-REM deep stages of sleep, (which comprises about 75 per cent of our full sleep time) our bodies undergo a number of physiological changes.

At this time, growth hormones are released which are essential for muscle growth and tissue repair.

They also assist with the strengthening of our bones and creating a healthier immune system.

Sleep also plays a crucial part in our learning and memory function, as this is when our brain consolidates and absorbs all the new information we've learnt in the day.

This is the very reason why making sure you get a very good night's sleep the night before a presentation or big test is such an important way to improve performance.

Another of sleep's essential functions is to regulate our emotions.

Getting good sleep enables our bodies to manage the levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, that are produced - which are vital to regulate our emotional well-being and mood.

Conversely, a lack of sleep has been linked to a heightened risk of depression, anxiety, and other related mental health conditions.

Proven tips for better sleep

With sleep being such an important factor in helping us enjoy better success at work, it's important to determine the quality of your sleep.

Ask yourself: Am I struggling to get enough sleep?

If you are struggling, it's important to understand how you can improve.

Here are four proven tips:

1. Seek diagnosis for sleep disorders

If you suspect that a sleep disorder is the root of your sleep disturbances, getting a proper diagnosis is crucial.

Conditions like sleep apnea, where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, can severely impact your sleep quality.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common treatment for sleep apnea, which involves wearing a mask that provides air pressure to keep the airways open at night.

For more information about sleep apnea and the treatment options available you can see this website.

2. Establishing a regular sleep routine

To help you sleep better it is important to establish a sleep schedule that you stick to every night.

Doing this will regulate your body's internal clock, which not only facilitates a better quality of sleep, but also provides you with a greater sense of alertness throughout the day.

The best way to establish a regular sleep routine is to try to go to bed and wake up every day around the same time every day.

You should also make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep by regulating the levels of light, noise and temperature within it to exactly how you like it.

3. Don't use electronic devices immediately before bedtime

According to the Sleep Foundation, around 70% of adults use their electronic devices in bed.

However, this can be detrimental to their chances of getting good sleep because the blue light emitted by tablets, laptops and smartphones can disrupt how much melatonin the body produces - a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle.

The more exposure we have to blue light before attempting to sleep, the more it can suppress how much melatonin our body produces.

This, in turn, can make it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Subsequently, as tempting as it might be to check work emails or browse LinkedIn before bedtime, it can actually be counter-productive to do so.

4. Reduce stress levels

If you can't sleep due to stress it is important to take steps to reduce their effects on you.

One such way is to practice yoga, meditation or listening to calming music.

You could also try progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises and taking a warm bath.

These activities can help you to calm your nervous system and reduce any feelings of tension and anxiety you may be feeling.

Which, therefore, should make it easier for you to nod off.

This information is of a general nature only and should not be regarded as specific to any particular situation. Readers are encouraged to speak with their GP and seek appropriate medical advice based on their personal circumstances.