Why sleep loss could be hampering your chances of a promotion at work

If your work performance is suffering, a lack of sleep could be to blame

Sleep deprivation is an issue for many adults in the UK. In fact, 36% of UK adults reportedly struggle to get to sleep at least one night a week. And while the odd restless night of tossing and turning does little more than making us tired the next day, chronic sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for your overall health and wellbeing. Sleep loss can increase your risk of health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, while also making you more likely to suffer from mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. This in itself is worrying, but the effects of chronic sleep loss go even deeper, even impacting your work performance. If you’ve found that your standards are slipping at work, it might be that sleep deprivation is at fault. We’re going to take a closer look at the relationship between sleep deprivation and poor work performance, while also exploring some of the ways you can improve your sleep habits in the long run.

Sleep deprivation and your work performance

Sleep is vital in ensuring your body functions at its best. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can impact many of the elements we rely on to get through the working day – such as concentration, memory, communication and energy levels – which all contribute to overall productivity, quality of work and even the maintenance of working relationships. Sleep deprivation can cause you to experience difficulty in retaining information, as it becomes harder to store ideas, conversations and data. You may also find communicating more of an effort, and your problem-solving abilities will likely decline. Employees suffering from sleep deprivation are more prone to mood swings, making them less tolerant of their co-workers and more likely to act emotionally. Work relationship problems can impact the entire organisation, making inefficiency and job dissatisfaction more likely. Sleep loss can cause problems both at work and in your personal life, and can even make you more prone to accidents en route to the office. Sleep deprivation has also been cited as one of the leading causes for unscheduled absenteeism.

How to improve your sleep quality

Not getting enough sleep can create a vicious cycle when it comes to work, as sleep loss can lead to a worse working environment, leading to stress and, ultimately, to even worse sleep. It’s important to take the necessary steps to improve your sleep habits and feel more rested. Chief among these is to set yourself a sleep schedule that you can stick to every morning and every evening, even on weekends. Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day will help to teach your body when it’s time to be alert and when it’s time to wind down. You can further help this process by engaging in relaxing activities in the run up to bedtime, avoiding social media and screens and instead opting for reading, meditation, yoga or a hot bath. Turn you bedroom into a sleep-conducive environment by ensuring it is dark, quiet, cool and comfortable. You should also reserve your bedroom so that it’s only used for sleep. And, wherever possible, avoid substances like alcohol, nicotine and caffeine as bedtime draws near. By making these simple lifestyle changes to your sleep habits, you can enjoy better quality sleep in the long run, improving your performance and energy levels both at work and at home.

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