It should already be a well-known fact that if you sleep better, you perform better at work. Take a minute to reflect on your workplace experiences. Remember how cranky you were in the office because you were sleep-deprived that day? Remember how you were unable to do the assignments because you were drowsy?
Sleep is an influential factor in determining workplace wellness. In this article, we will be looking at how sleep influences different aspects of wellness at work.
Let us keep in mind that wellness is multidimensional. There are emotional, social, intellectual aspects to wellness, and sleep is one factor that determines all these aspects of wellness.
Now, let us look at how sleep affects wellness factors in the workplace.
At the workplace, you need to be innovative and produce new solutions to existing problems. The problem arises when you don’t sleep enough, and your creativity goes in for a toss. Yes! Science also affirms this link between sleep and creativity.
Sleep doctor Michael J. Breus says that REM sleep is crucial for unleashing the complete creative potential. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is a unique phase of sleep that allows our minds to come up with brilliant ideas. To reap the benefits of REM sleep, you must avoid cutting down your sleep time. For instance, if you are working on a new project at the office, you must sleep well to develop interesting ideas.
All of us understand that workplaces test our patience. Often, we face sudden challenges. Confront a difficult co-worker? Is your boss not willing to accept your current work? Many such situations occur, and it is best for you if you deal with them in a balanced manner.
However, poor sleep can make things worse. Research shows that sleep and mood are connected. This means if you sleep for fewer hours, you are likely to become irritated and short-tempered.
Moreover, this irritation and temper flare up when you face unexpected situations in the office. With such exaggerated responses, your workplace productivity reduces. To tackle stressful and unwarranted situations, you must be in a good mood. With adequate sleep, you can improve your mood.
Just like creativity and mood, empathy is also determined by how much time you sleep. Studies show that sleep loss reduces emotional empathy. If you don’t sleep well, you lose the ability to feel emotions while observing other people. From the perspective of a worker, it is necessary to be emotionally empathetic. For instance, if your co-worker disagrees with you, you should be able to pick up the emotional cues and resolve the conflict.
However, if you are sleep deprived, you lose the ability to empathise emotionally. As a result, misunderstandings and disagreements creep into working relationships. Therefore, you should get adequate sleep for better working relationships.
The more you lose sleep, the difficult it becomes to engage in problem-solving at the workplace. If you see closely, problem-solving is a complex process. It involves many things like identifying the main issues, understanding the interests of the stakeholders, and listing out all possible solutions to complete all these processes; your mind needs to be alert and active. In case you lack enough sleep, you will find it hard to participate in the problem-solving process. So, you must develop healthy sleeping habits such as setting a bedtime schedule, getting 7-9 hours of sleep, etc.
Cognitive abilities include planning, creative thinking, idea evaluation, and these cognitive abilities impact your job performance. Even in the pre-employment stages, employers select candidates who exhibit strong cognitive skills.
At the same time, it is important to be cognitively healthy in the workplace, and sleep is important. There is broad consensus that insufficient sleep lowers one’s cognitive performance. As a result, one suffers from poor memory and attention.
Memory and recollection
Until this point, we discussed so many things like creativity, mood, empathy, problem-solving, and cognitive abilities. Now, we will speak about memory, one of the most important tools for the workplace. All your work depends on your ability to recall, remember, and process information.
However, if you don’t get adequate sleep, it affects your memory. You will find it difficult to remember the deadline for your project, and you will make casual errors that could hurt your career in the long run. For a successful career, it is important not to take your memory for granted. So, get adequate sleep for better memory.
Workplace wellness is complex; it involves many factors like creativity, mood, empathy, problem-solving, cognitive abilities, and memory. Sleep plays an important factor in all these aspects. So, more reasons for you to develop good sleeping habits.