Sleep More, Work Better

Do you find yourself feeling tired at work? In today’s extreme work environment, it is easy to see how many business managers are unable to get a goodnight’s sleep. In a survey of nearly 190 business leaders, over 40 percent say they lack sufficient sleep at least four nights a week. These poor sleeping habits can weaken important forms of leadership conduct and even lead to harmful financial operations.

Neuroscientists have learned that the prefrontal cortex cannot function properly without adequate sleep. A lack of a good night’s sleep impairs one’s ability to focus attentively. Research demonstrates that that after 18 hours of staying awake, an individual will perform tasks to the level of someone with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent. After 20 hours of staying awake, a person’s performance is that of someone with a blood alcohol level of .1 percent. To put that in perspective, a blood alcohol level of .1 percent is the legal definition of drunk in the U.S.

Sleep is essential for cognitive functions that enable us to problem solve effectively. The cognitive functions include pattern recognitions as well as the ability to create innovative ideas. A study shows that individuals who had a goodnight sleep were twice as likely to discover a hidden shortcut in a task, as opposed to those who didn’t get a goodnight sleep. While an individual is sleep deprived, the brain is more likely to misinterpret social cues and overreact to emotional events. Studies have illustrated that individuals who didn’t get enough sleep were less likely to trust another person. The same study expressed that workers felt less focused on their work when their manager had a poor night of sleep.

Having better-rested and more efficient managers are essential for a business’ success. Better sleep is shown to also prevent a breakdown in leaders. A recent study demonstrates that over 90 percent of leaders reported feeling some level of exhaustion. Nearly a third of those in the study suggested that their condition as punishing. Some businesses look to find a way to increase the cost of health care to those who experience the effects of poor sleep. Ultimately, poor sleep leads to an inefficient workplace. Do yourself and your business a favor, and get some sleep.

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