We all know how important sleep is, yet not many of us actually get a full night's rest every night of the week. In fact, The National Sleep Foundation did a poll in 2005 which showed that Americans get less than 6.9 hours of sleep each night. This negatively impacts their on productivity and health. Many people stay up into the wee hours of the night trying to catch up on paper work, reading or doing household chores that they couldn't otherwise find time for, trying to do too much every day. The idea is to get more done in a 24-hour period, but that is not necessarily the case. Not getting enough sleep is a surefire way to reduce productivity. Have you ever noticed how irritable a child gets when he lacks sleep? You can read the signs immediately and try to force them to take a nap or go to bed early that night to fix the problem. Adults aren't that different. They get equally as cranky when not getting enough sleep. Everyone needs that time to rejuvenate and feel refreshed. Just look at what university students do to themselves by cramming for their finals. They stay up late to try to maximize their time, but in the process, they set themselves up for failure by being overtired, irritable and having poor memory. A few long nights with little sleep has some immediate effects. You may feel irritable, be accident prone, like procrastinating, feel weak and be prone to migraines. Losing just one and a half hours of sleep per night causes slower performance and impaired alertness, reducing the ability to problem solve and think clearly. However, over time, the effects of lack of sleep become more serious. It goes beyond affecting how well you perform at school or work and begins affecting your health and overall quality of life. The impact of not getting enough sleep can mean weight gain, poor metabolism, diabetes, heart disease and finding yourself in an early grave. Getting more sleep can improve your life in many ways. You may experience a better memory, improved health, more energy, better efficiency, increased metabolism, and a longer life expectancy. To get more sleep and reduce the impact poor sleep has on productivity, you need to start a routine and maintain it, keep TVs and computers out of the bedroom, regularly exercise, avoid overeating before bed and limit drinks before going to sleep.
March 11, 2015