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Sleep and Productivity: Making Every Hour Count

Sleep productivity option 1

“No rest for the wicked,” they said. Ever wonder why you often feel wickedly unproductive? 

You’ve been running on countless cups of caffeine and will power, trying to squeeze productivity out of exhaustion.

Close those tabs, ditch that esoteric productivity hack you found at 3 a.m., and let’s get back to basics. 

What if I told you that productivity begins not at your desk, but in your bed?

The Correlation between Sleep and Productivity

The secret key to unlocking your full productivity might be hidden in your nighttime routine – yes, we’re talking about quality sleep.

A study by Sleep.com found that people who get less than 5 hours of sleep every night are 29% less productive than people who sleep 7-9 hours. 

This means that if you sleep four hours less than the optimal amount, you might be wasting almost a third of your workday.

Another study by the Sleep Foundation found that insomnia, sleepiness, and snoring were directly associated with decreased work productivity. 

Insomnia alone was estimated to cost the U.S. economy a whopping $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.

Countless studies demonstrate that a good night’s sleep also improves our concentration, decision-making abilities, and creativity.

The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Productivity


A woman yawning while working

When you’re stuck in a cycle of sleep deprivation, your brain pretty much goes on a strike. Lack of adequate sleep comes with a slew of cognitive deficits…

Your attention span shortens, alertness decreases, reaction times become slower, emotions become a roller-coaster and your thoughts and perceptions get foggy. 

You’re more prone to making silly (and big) mistakes, more irritable and lethargic. Which can also make you socially withdrawn and mess with your social life, causing drama you don’t need. 

All of these side effects negatively impact your productivity.

What Else Does Sleep Deprivation Affect?

Your personal safety and well-being, along with the society’s safety is impacted by sleep deprivation.

In a 2006 study by the Institute of Medicine Committee on Sleep Medicine, researchers found that fatigued and oversleepy workers are 70% more likely to get into road accidents than their counterparts1.

Not only that, lack of sleep increases the likelihood of workplace injuries by around 50%.

This happens because lack of sleep decreases your reaction time, reflexes and memory. 

In extreme cases, not getting enough sleep can mess up your mind-body coordination.

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Can’t remember the last time you woke up feeling alive and ready for the day? Yeah, that’s a sign.

The trouble with sleep deprivation is it can turn into a cycle—one that’s tough to break out of.

Let’s talk about the profound impact of sleep on your productivity and overall happiness.

A study by Philips revealed that: 

  • 61% of adults believe that their memory is worse when they have not slept well
  • 75% admit they are less productive after a poor night’s sleep. 
  • 80% of people would like to improve their quality of sleep. 
  • but only 20% take action to do so.

If you’ve made it this far, Congrats! You’re part of the 20% that’s serious about sleeping better.

But there are practical steps you can take to improve sleep quality, like maintaining a regular sleep schedule and creating a sleep-friendly environment. Steering clear of caffeine and electronic devices before bed can also prove beneficial.

The Role of Napping in Boosting Productivity

Contrary to popular belief, napping isn’t just for children. Properly timed power naps can boost productivity and cognitive function.

If you’re running short on sleep, power naps might just be the thing you need to get through your workday with your A-game.

Power naps can replenish your energy levels, provide you with the rest you need to regain your concentration, reflexes and productivity.

What are power naps?

Power naps are quick 20-30 minute naps which allow your body to rest, repair, and feel rested without going into deep sleep.

But don’t power naps make you more lazy and lead you to sleep more than you should? Not when done right.

When done correctly, power naps can save the day and ease your lethargy, fatigue and brain fog.

Learn how to do it the right way: How To Take Power Naps?

How Work Culture Affects Sleep

Our societal attitudes towards work and sleep have a significant effect on sleep and productivity. Changes in workplace policies can promote better sleep habits and improve employee productivity.

High-stress environments, long working hours, and the expectation to be always ‘on’ can lead to poor sleep quality and even insomnia, which in turn can have serious effects on health and productivity. 

It’s crucial for both employers and employees to realize the importance of a balanced work-life schedule, and make necessary adjustments.

Adopting a “work hard, sleep less” mentality can lead to serious health issues in the long run.


How sleep affects work and productivity

Here are some steps that can be taken to improve sleep quality:

  • Encourage Downtime: Organizations should encourage employees to take regular breaks. Ensuring you’re disconnected from work during non-work hours can reduce stress and improve sleep quality
  • Promote Work-Life Balance: A healthy work-life balance is crucial for good sleep. 
  • Create a Conducive Work Environment: A calm and quiet workspace can minimize stress levels and promote better sleep. Try minimizing noise, ensuring adequate lighting, and promoting a positive workplace culture. 
  • Nutrition Education: Proper nutrition plays an important role in sleep quality and also in creating a healthy sleep schedule.
  • Limit Use of Electronic Devices: Try to limit your screen-time, especially before bed. This can help them unwind and improve sleep quality.

    Try this experiment, for the next week, shut off all the screens an hour before bedtime. You’ll notice you fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and you’re more rested and refreshed than you’ve ever been.
  • Consider Using Natural Sleep Supplements: You can choose from a variety of supplements known for their sleep-enhancing properties, like valerian root, chamomile and sleep promoting cannabinoids.

    CBD (cannabidiol) + CBN (cannabinol) is a dreamlike combination of the two most powerful cannabinoids for sleep. CBN is often called the “sleepy cannabinoid” or the “bedtime cannabinoid”, yes, people are finding it that effective.

    CBD can relax your wild mind and reduce the symptoms of stress, while CBN prepares your body for rest.

References

  1. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. PMID: 20669438. ↩︎
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