Having trouble finding your creative mojo at work? The secret is in better sleep.

Having trouble finding your creative mojo at work? The secret is in better sleep.

By now, it may sound cliché when someone points out that getting enough quality sleep is an important factor for maintaining alertness, having a happy outlook on life, and ensuring physical well-being.

However, since many of us spend our waking hours working, this medical fact is a serious one and should not be taken lightly.

That’s where the effects of a good night’s sleep versus inadequate sleep can manifest themselves most obviously. Sometimes those manifestations can result in serious physical, mental and psychological problems.

A worst-case scenario is that one could die as a consequence of what’s termed in the medical field as “sleep deprivation.”

Furthermore, the difference between being well rested and suffering from lack of sleep can have an impact on your level of career success and that in and of itself can lead to more unneeded stress.

Below are some examples of how a lack of sleep affects our work performance.

Cognition and emotion affect performance

Lack of sleep affects you mentally and emotionally. These effects are the most detrimental.

It can make it harder to control your emotions, leading to the possibility that you’ll misinterpret other people’s words or even lash out inappropriately.

If your thought processes are impaired, it makes it harder to do well on tasks that require cognitive alertness. And, honestly, what job doesn’t require cognitive alertness?

Most of us are mentally juggling many small tasks throughout the day, and if you’re fatigued, it’s inevitable that something will fall through the cracks.

Depending on one’s responsibilities, one mistake could possibly result in something worse happening other than disappointing their employers or clients.

Lack of sleep and illness are related

One way to get ahead at work is to be dependable and show up for work unless you’re really sick.

Unfortunately, the lack of sleep can impair your immune system, making it easier to catch whatever bug is going around.

Not only that, sleep deprivation leads to headaches, dizziness, cardiac issues, and a long list of others.

Nobody wants to be ill all the time, and too many absences can reflect poorly on your work record.

Additionally, illness due to a lack of sleep is not something that an employer or client is willing to accept.

Healthy people are more productive

This isn’t a weight issue, but one of cardiovascular health and overall fitness

Some research shows that otherwise healthy people can develop diabetic-like symptoms if they have a severe lack of sleep.

For example, (1) people who don’t sleep well are more prone to suffer from Type 2 Diabetes; (2) people suffering from diabetes frequently have obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders; (3) the more severe the sleep disorder usually means an individual’s diabetes is more difficult to control.

The reason for this is because the time during sleep is an opportunity for your body to repair itself and prepare energy stores for the coming day.

Going to work every day with too little sleep is like driving a car that’s always a couple of quarts low on oil. You can do it for a while but, eventually, it can cause serious problems.

Fatigue impairs safety

No matter what field you work in, safety is an important factor.

When you’re suffering from a lack of sleep, your reflexes will be slower than if you’re rested.

Further, specialists point out that the lack of sleep affects “reaction times, memory and concentration” very similarly to alcohol. This issue is so serious that lawmakers in the United States have worked to pass “Drowsy Driving Laws.

One example is Arkansas. According to the National Conference of State legislature, Arkansas legislature [SB 874, 2013 Ark. Pub. Act. No. 1296 (2013)] states:

Classifies “fatigued driving” as an offence under negligent homicide- punishable by a class A misdemeanour- when the driver involved in a fatal accident has been without sleep for 24 consecutive hours or is in a state of sleep after being without sleep for 24 consecutive hours.

This knowledge means that most PAs are in a unique position as the person who looks out for others and keeps a company operating smoothly.

Getting enough sleep at night makes your job safer, not just for you, but for those around you.

Others are counting on you to follow the best practices for maintaining a safe workplace, and you need adequate sleep to do it.

Sleep encourages creativity

Not only does a good night’s sleep help you stay alert during meetings and come up with solutions to problems at work, it feeds your creativity.

Experts believe that the activity of the brain during sleep helps make sense of the waking day.

Have you ever fallen asleep worrying about an issue, only to wake up thinking about a possible solution?

Sleep is an important part of creativity and problem-solving, and those are certainly good abilities to bring to the job.

Stop-gap measures don’t work

You may think you can get through the day using caffeine and sugar to keep your energy levels up, but the crash that follows isn’t worth it.

Not only that, but the long-term effects of sleeplessness are only exacerbated by using stimulants to function during the workday.

The unfortunate truth is, not only will these measures fall short in the end, but they’ll have a negative effect on your overall health as well.

Tips for getting enough high-quality sleep

The good news is that you can fix problems with sleep deprivation.

1. Stop working at a set time each evening.

This includes doing household chores. For most people, it’s difficult to abruptly turn off and go to sleep if they’re involved in activities right up until bedtime.

2. Invest in an ergonomic, high-quality mattress and pillow.

Getting the right mattress and bedding for a good night’s sleep will help you experience true relaxation. Experiment with mattress and pillow firmness to choose the ones that feel the most comfortable.

3. Have your last meal at least three hours before bedtime.

At night, your body is working on the repair and regeneration of cells and tissues.

Diverting energy toward digesting food will interfere with these benefits and reduce your sleep quality.

4. Engage in physical activity.

Performing some kind of physical activity daily, even just walking for a half-hour, has been linked with falling asleep more easily and getting a better night’s sleep.

If you’re having issues with snoring or sleep apnea, a sleep disorder professional can help you overcome it.

If you follow these suggestions and still find yourself feeling fatigued during the workday, it would be a good idea to check with a physician to rule out these or other issues.

The most important thing the reader can take from this is that getting a good night’s sleep is one of the keys to avoiding sickness and preserving one’s career.

Such can be accomplished by getting adequate rest, along with sensible eating habits and regular exercise.

About the Author: Andrej is an avid internet technologist. He believes that the key to modern marketing excellence is a constant willingness to learn and adapt to the ever-changing digital world.

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