It's 2 A.M. Do You know Where Your Pillow Is?
Sleep affects every aspect of our waking lives. How much and how well we sleep has a huge impact on work productivity, performance, and safety. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, healthy adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. However, a large number of working adults aren’t getting the recommended hours of sleep. In fact, studies show that nearly one-third of American workers are sleeping no more than six hours a night. This leads to many working adults getting insufficient sleep impacting their ability to function during the day.
There are many consequences and negative effects on our lives when we do not get the sleep we need. Poor sleep makes the workplace a more dangerous, less productive, and less positive place to be. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep leads to the following:
- Reduced productivity and lower performance – Sleep deprivation impairs your skills as much as alcohol intoxication. Research has shown that people who get five hours of sleep for a few nights in a row have the equivalent of a 0.1 blood alcohol level.
- A lack of sleep reduces attention span, memory, learning and decision making, which all contribute to reduced productivity and performance.
- Lack of sleep also reduces immunity causing us to be more susceptible to common illnesses, which in turn can lead to missed work.
- Increased accidents and injuries – Lack of sleep leads to a slow reaction time that hinders people from being able to react to a situation quickly or make a decision quickly. Lack of sleep is the cause for many vehicle accidents each year and has been blamed for some of the worst accidents in history.
Lack of sleep is no joke! More sleep will lead to higher productivity and fewer accidents, so let’s all make sleep a high priority in our lives.
About the Author
Ginger VanNess, MHA, RPSGT, RRT, RCP, is a polysomnographic technician and manager of the Cone Health Sleep Disorders Center