Just like eating healthily and exercising, we all know that getting enough sleep is good for us. But you might not realise just how much of an impact that a lack of sleep can have on your work. The amount of sleep that you need will vary from person to person, but if you regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep per night, you may start to notice the following effects at work:
Inability to concentrate- If you frequently struggle to focus on your work, and find yourself missing things as they have slipped your mind, it could be down to tiredness.
Decision-making- Bill Clinton once said “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I made because I was too tired”. A serious lack of sleep can cause cognitive impairment, so if you have an important meeting coming up then make sure you are well rested for it.
Inefficiency- By skipping the snooze button and heading into the office early you might think you’ll have time to get more done, but in fact if you have not had sufficient sleep you will be less efficient and less productive, so those extra hours could be wasted.
How to stay awake in the office
If you’ve hit an afternoon slump, try one of these ideas:
Get outside- When you’re busy it seems like you have no choice but to eat lunch at your desk, but even a 10 minute break from the office can help you recharge enough to make your afternoon more productive. Exposure to natural light is a great midday wake up, as is exercise, so a quick walk around the block can make all the difference.
Moderate your caffeine- Although it can be tempting to mainline coffee when you’re tired at work, drinking too much caffeine can keep you from falling asleep at night. Try not to drink caffeine after 2pm- if you can’t live without hot drinks try swapping to herbal teas.
Hydrate yourself- Dehydration affects brain function, so keep a bottle of water at your desk and make sure to drink from it throughout the day, especially if you are craving sugary snacks as it is easy to mistake hunger for thirst.