How to be more productive in less time by sleeping

Sleep is an essential function to allow your mind and body to recharge, allowing you to feel alert and refreshed when you wake up. Good sleep is also vital to help your body fight diseases, remain healthy, and aid your digestive system. By contrast, a lack of sleep can lead to poor brain function, impairing the mind’s ability to think clearly, concentrate and process memories.

Adults generally require between seven to nine hours of sleep a night. On the other hand, children and teenagers need substantially more sleep, especially if they are younger than five. Day-to-day stresses, work schedules, medical conditions, disruptive bedroom environments and personal issues can all prevent us from having enough sleep. Good lifestyle habits and a healthy diet can help ensure that we receive the right amount of sleep every night. Some people who suffer continued sleepless nights may have a sleep disorder.

Sleep & Productivity

A study was conducted where scientists tracked 1000 adults to measure the correlation between productivity and sleep quality as well as quantity. The study’s conclusion was clear that sleep duration, sleepiness, snoring, and insomnia all correlated with decreased productivity at work. The study recommended that sleep should be considered a vital element when it comes to workplace health.

Another study analysed 4,188 workers and found a noticeable drop in performance, productivity and safety outcomes among those who slept less. The study found a loss of $1,967 in productivity per worker, all due to poor sleep.

These results were not surprising to researchers as it has been known for years. Poor sleep can dramatically reduce performance for everyone, from academia to athletics. It does not matter what field you work in. Impaired problem-solving, creativity and memory will all hinder your performance. Regardless of the studies, we still lose sleep due to being so busy.

Quality Over Quantity

As with many things in life, quality will always trump quantity. The quantity of your sleep will be impacted by the quality of sleep you get. Twelve hours of fragmented or poor sleep quality will not be as healthy as seven straight hours of good quality sleep. A study was conducted analysing 1.1 million people’s sleeping patterns over six years. The study found that sleeping five hours could be more beneficial to the body than eight hours if sleep quality is good.

For these reasons, it is essential that you consider all the factors that can impact your sleep quality. They include:

  • Lighting
  • Eating habits
  • Room temperature
  • Bedtime routines
  • Avoiding the use of technology before bed
  • Avoiding caffeine close to bedtime

The National Sleep Foundation released key indicators for good quality of sleep, which are:

  • Sleeping in 30 minutes or less 
  • Sleeping for at least 85% of the time you are in bed 
  • Only being awake for a maximum of 20 minutes after falling asleep
  • Only waking up once at most every night

Sleep is crucial for us to function. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health and can also adversely affect your work. Productivity, creativity, memory and problem-solving are all affected by a lack of sleep, causing businesses substantial financial losses. Although it is good to sleep, the quality of sleep we achieve will reduce the need for the quantity of sleep. It will help to improve all functions, especially productivity.