Several sleep-related symptoms are associated with decreased work productivity. A new study evaluated whether people with certain sleep problems experienced more productivity loss than those without those problems.
A good night’s rest is important for the proper functioning of our bodies. If you’ve been struggling to keep up with your everyday tasks at work, it might be time to evaluate your sleeping patterns.
Most people struggle to justify the decrease in their workplace productivity. Sometimes, it is a hangover, sometimes less interesting work, sometimes personal reasons, or sometimes office politics. Now, scientists have given another reason that can be added to the list – poor quality of sleep.
According to a research conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, several sleep-related symptoms are associated with decreased work productivity. This study evaluated whether people with certain sleep problems experienced more productivity loss than those without those problems.
Method for the study
Results showed that insomnia was the sleep problem that demonstrated the greatest impact on work productivity. Data analysis found that those with moderate-severe insomnia experienced more than double the productivity loss (107 percent more) compared to someone without insomnia.
Other sleep complaints were relevant as well. For example, those with even mild insomnia experienced 58% more productivity loss, those who reported problems with daytime sleepiness experienced 50% more productivity loss, and those who snored regularly (a sign of sleep apnea) experienced 19-34% more productivity loss, compared to those who didn’t snore.
Less sleep doesn’t make you more productive
Often, people tend to sleep less with the hopes of being more productive. This study shows that this is not the case – compared to those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep, those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29% more productivity loss.
“Many people believe that in order to get more done, they need to sacrifice sleep,” said senior author Michael Grandner. “This study shows that, quite to the contrary, poor sleep is associated with lower productivity in general, and specifically across a wide range of areas.”
Here’s how you can improve your sleep quality:
Switch off all gadgets: You need to be away from gadgets at least 30 minutes prior to falling asleep.
Regular bedtime: According to Dr Rahul Modi, sleep specialist and ENT, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, it is important to have the same sleeping and waking up time every night, even on weekends.
Regular sleeping place: He adds, “Designate a room only for sleeping. The bedroom and the bed should be only for sleeping, one should not answer emails or watch movies, listen to music or read on the bed. A lot of people do their work in the bedroom on the bed; this habit should be discouraged.”
Check your mattress: “If you are facing discomfort from the mattress you are using (for instance body ache, backache, among other things) then that’s an indication that you need to change your mattress. Also, the biggest tip is to avoid screens before bed time,” says Dr Vivek Anand Padegal, director, pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore.