acrificing sleep may seem like part
of the job—working late, worrying
yourself into insomnia, stressing
And you’re not alone. About 40 percent of
Americans never sleep the recommended seven
to nine hours, according to the National Sleep
Foundation (NSF; sleepfoundation.org). But
skimping on sleep can contribute to a host of
problems. In addition to affecting your personal
health, sleep is crucial for the health of your job.
Here’s how sleeping more can help you.
Impress your customers. Twenty-seven percent of tired workers admit having trouble concentrating, which can lead to mistakes, and 20
percent aren’t as productive as they should be,
according to NSF data.
“If you’re tired and inattentive, take longer to
produce a certain quality of work and have to go
back and fix errors that you’ve made, your work
is going to suffer,” says Dr. Brendan Lucey, director of the Sleep Medicine Center at the Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Louis. “If you’re well rested, you’ll be more efficient at producing high-quality work, achieving
Proper sleep habits can
make you healthier—
and better at your job
by LISA FIELDS
For optimal sleep
Take a hot shower. The
heat and subsequent cooling
help you produce melatonin, a
Don’t check email. The blue
light from your smartphone
tricks your brain into thinking
that you shouldn’t feel sleepy.
And learning, at bedtime, that
you’ll have a stressful situation
in the morning can make you
worry instead of nodding off.
Create a worry list. If you
can’t sleep because you’re try-
ing to solve work problems, jot
them down to get stressful top-
ics off your mind. This releases
you from the worry of forgetting
them, and allows you to relax.
Block off time. Make sleep
as much a priority as work.—LF
Sleep well and your clients will notice
improvements. You may have time to tackle
new projects, make cold calls or even shorten
Stay healthier. Your body recovers from daily
stresses overnight. Without enough rest, your
body’s immune response breaks down, making
you susceptible to illness. Sleep more, so you
never have to call in sick.
“Sleep deprivation suppresses immune
function,” Lucey says. “It decreases your body’s
ability to respond to colds and infections, and
colds may last longer.”
Argue less. Forty percent of people who
identify as sleep-deprived admit to being
impatient with people at work, according to
NSF data. If you’re exhausted, you’re more likely
to be sarcastic or short. Wake up refreshed and
you’ll be more agreeable toward others, which
does wonders for customer relations.
“The better-rested your [workforce is], the
better they’re going to perform and give people
what they’re looking for,” says Dr. Michael
Breus, a fellow with the American Academy of
Lisa Fields is a New Jersey–based freelancer.
can find sleep aids
at Costco and
can be filled at
is similar to drunk
driving,” says Costco
member Dr. Milton
Chua, clinical instructor at the University
of Utah Sleep
Wake Center. “
Re-flexes are delayed
and attention to road
hazards and traffic