A good night’s sleep — the secret to a successful career

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A good night’s sleep — the secret to a successful career

Sleep deprivation negatively impacts workplace productivity by reducing alertness, impairing cognitive function, and increasing the risk of errors and accidents.
  • Dr. Moitrayee Das, Dr. Nivedeeta Thombare

28 May

Optimal sleep is critical for workplace productivity. | Representational image | Photo by KoolShooters via Pexels

It is no secret that sleep is critical for our overall well-being and health. The health benefits of a good night's sleep have been well documented in scholarly and non-scholarly literature. Studies have shown how a restful night's sleep leads to an increase in overall well-being and an improved quality of life. Poor sleep, on the other hand, has extremely adverse effects on one’s health. 

Reports by the Great Indian Sleep Scorecard, LocalCircles and Fitbit among many others show how India might as well be called a sleepless country. On average Indians are poor sleepers and a recent report suggests India is the second most sleep-deprived country after Japan. 

In general, sleep can be divided into two categories: quality and quantity. The amount of sleep corresponds to its duration, while the quality refers to its depth. A combination of the two determines how well one has slept. 

Optimal sleep is critical for workplace productivity. According to studies, people who have trouble sleeping see more threats in the workplace and are more likely to struggle to control their highly emotional reactions (Barnes et al., 2013). Employees at all levels have been shown to be affected by sleepiness, and they find it harder to resist temptation when they are tired (Muraven&Baumeister, 2000). This includes the urge to participate in risky or immoral behaviour. In several occupations, being sleepy also resulted in unethical behaviour, with both the quality and quantity of sleep having an impact (Barnes, Scott &Ghuman, 2013).

Also read: The secret to career, money and happiness: Financial planning

Sleep deprivation is said to weaken self-regulatory processes and is linked to a number of self-control-based outcomes, including cyberloafing, work engagement, and abusive supervision, according to research done in sleep physiology and management studies (Wagner et al., 2012). Although most of the sleep happens away from the job, taking naps while working is not a new concept. In many organisations, taking a nap while at work is seen as time theft because the employee is losing productivity time and is therefore seen as acting unethically (Barnes, Scott &Ghuman, 2013). But the practice of taking naps while at work is acceptable in many organisations and is also encouraged. Many businesses have nap rooms, or pods for staff use, allowing them to take a short nap whenever they need to rest. As a benchmark for self-control resources, studies have demonstrated that sleep deprivation predicts cognitive tiredness and cognitive exhaustion predicts unethical behaviour (Wagner et al., 2012).

According to Tariq and colleagues (2020), morning exhaustion in managers’ has a detrimental impact on their behaviour, which in turn has a poor impact on employees’ ability to sleep. This study supports the idea that in order to maintain a fruitful and healthy work environment for their employees, organisations should take into account the relationship between employees' daily off-the-job experiences/events and their on-the-job experiences (such as employees' sleep and deviant behaviour).

Disrupted sleep patterns have been identified by several researchers as a significant contributor to work absenteeism. It described how those who suffer from sleeplessness are far more likely to request time off for illness. Employee absenteeism and sick leave increased as a result of disturbances in sleep and tiredness. Hence, it is concluded that prolonged work hours may result in chronic sleep deprivation, which could have a negative impact on work outcomes including absenteeism and occupational accidents. On the other hand, workers who get enough sleep typically do better than those who don't. Those who are sleep deprived frequently exhibit impulsive and spontaneous behaviour. They even exhibit awkward social behaviour and engage in rude behaviour around their peers (Diestel et al., 2015).

Individuals who experience poor sleep tend to put things off more than other people (Uehli et al., 2014). Procrastination is the term used by Litwiller et al. to describe this condition. It results from insufficient sleep, which causes a person to have decreased energy levels; it always happens when energy levels are low. 

It's widely known that people who do exceptionally well get minimal sleep. Even when that time is spent on working, your performance and career are likely to suffer in the long term, not to mention your personal life, despite the epic boasting that underlies these assertions about how little sleep we get. Insufficient sleep has a miserable effect on productivity, career advancement, and job satisfaction. It also raises the risk of workplace accidents, absenteeism, and unproductive work habits. On the other hand, better sleep has been linked to improved memory and learning. Even short naps have been shown to substantially improve work performance. Getting a good night's sleep is one of the best methods to ensure a fruitful day at the workplace (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2020).

Also read: How relationships matter at work: Secret for a future-ready career

Tags : Career, Future ready, Sleep

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