Sleep deprivation can be chronic in nature, in fact 30% of the general population has sleep disruption. Such sleep disturbances can result in increased stress responsivity, somatic pain, reduced quality of life, emotional distress and mood disorders. With that same token, good quality sleep is linked to improved memory, better learning and even enhanced mood regulation.
In recent years, sleep has been found to have benefits in the workplace as well, with research showing that productivity and even employee engagement had increased as a result of consistent better quality sleep.
Correlation between Sleep and Employee Engagement
Research has shown that sleep actually BOOSTS employee engagement. Employees who slept more or had a higher quality of consistent sleep were found to be more enthusiastic, productive and were generally more satisfied with their jobs.
There is a multi-billion dollar industry that specialises in achieving high levels of employee engagement, in fact here at Alvigor, it is one of our specialities. We work with clients to improve workplace morale and efficiency. We look after both the organization and the individual workers. However, who would have thought that the solution was right under our noses this whole time?
Sleep is a fantastic predictor of employee engagement as chances are if you have more sleep, you will be more alert and thereby more productive. You are also more likely to be in a better mood and state of mind. Sleep is an important variable to note when considering your own workplace performance as it is one that is solely under your control. If you are intent on sleeping well, you can certainly do so. Doing so not only ensures that you are better prepared for the work day but it will also improve your mental and physical health.
Workplace stress affecting sleep
Now one of the deterrents between you and quality sleep would be the stressors of the workplace. Your boss may be ringing you at 10pm just before you were going to bed, talking to you about the following day's task. This is a clear sign of an incompetent leader, they are stressing and destroying your morale by doing so. Not only are they not able to curate a work life balance and have clear office hour boundaries but they are also needlessly disrupting your sleep cycle thereby inadvertently affecting your workplace productivity.
It also demonstrates that they themselves do not practice good sleeping habits and are very likely sleep-deprived since they are seemingly so inundated with work. They are less likely to engage in such abusive and disruptive behaviour if their sleep schedule was their priority. Many do not realise the adverse effects that a lack of sleep can cause. It far outweighs any loss of workplace productivity but rather signals complicated physical ailments through a weakening of the immune system.
Having 8 hours of sleep may not be possible for everyone and that is completely okay. But you must ensure that you do what is BEST for you. Have an optimal sleep schedule whether it is 6, 7, 8 or even 9 hours. You can even take naps if you are not at liberty to have 7 hour sleeps. The power of napping should not be understated, it can be equally effective.
In fact, taking naps have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and the effects that stress has on our bodies. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%. Napping also has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.
Many of us have grown accustomed to thinking that naps are luxurious that they are a sign of laziness and perhaps even negligence. However, have you considered that napping could give your mind a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the day?
This is especially so as naps are usually taken in the afternoon or during lunchtime which means that half of the day has already elapsed. Napping not only replenishes the energy expanded physically and psychologically, but it also prepares us for the rest of the day. To attack it with the same vigour that we did for the first part of the day. Napping keeps us fresh, energised and feeling like our best selves