How Sleep Deprivation Affects You at Work

Getting enough sleep at the appropriate time can benefit your mental and physical health, as well as your quality of life and safety. On average, an adult needs around seven or more hours of sleep per night. What happens when you’re sleeping impacts how you feel when you’re up and doing your work?

By sleeping, your body works to sustain healthy brain function and maintain physical health. If you are sleep-deprived, it can affect many aspects of your life, such as relationships, mood, and career. There are also many health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart failure linked to sleep disorders. Here are ways that sleep deprivation can affect you in the workplace.

Focus and Performance

Feeling sleepy and tired makes it challenging to focus on a task for a long time. It can also lead to mistakes and errors in your work. Losing your attention to detail and ability to work efficiently can adversely impact your job performance.

A recent study revealed that professionals only get an average of six hours and 28 minutes of sleep, which is below the recommended time. Lack of sleep can cause tiredness, lessen creativity, and make you lose focus on the task at hand. Sleep deprivation also makes it harder to generate new ideas and makes tasks longer to complete. So if you feel tired and lack focus, take a quick nap to refresh your mind and body.


Sleep deprivation can significantly affect your judgment, reaction time, and decision-making. If you work with heavy machinery or have a job that involves other people’s safety, you’re more likely to make life-threatening mistakes. Doctors and nurses are often sleep-deprived and face a constant struggle to combat safety issues.

If you are sleep-deprived and don’t feel competent in doing the work, talk to someone about your concerns immediately. A healthier sleeping habit can have a significant impact on your company. It can lessen human error due to sleepiness and prevent disasters, such as the Three Mile Island meltdown or the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill from happening.

Working Relationships

Being able to work well with colleagues is essential in any organization. This can be difficult if you have a lot of co-worker or customer interaction throughout your workday. Sleep deprivation makes people irritable and less engaged in social interactions.

Meetings and even email communications can feel exhausting and annoying when tired. Moodiness and lack of focus can put a strain on the working relationship of employees and their clients. To avoid unnecessary conflicts, irritations, and misunderstandings, all employees must have enough sleep. 

Enjoying Your Work

It is easier to perform well if you love what you’re doing and are happy at work. But, whether you like your job or not, when sleep-deprived, it can feel like a horrible chore. You don’t have the energy to bring yourself to work and probably count the hours until you get to go home and sleep. Jobs can be challenging enough on their own. It is unrealistic to expect any benefits or promotions to come your way if you are sleep-deprived

Ways to Improve Sleep

There are many ways you can improve sleep hygiene. Sometimes, when you’re too busy with work, you tend to reduce sleep to do all your unfinished tasks. However, always remember that strictly following your sleep schedule will help protect your health and well-being. Set a consistent time when you sleep and wake every day to set a proper sleep pattern.

Having a comfortable mattress can also help you improve your sleep quality. A mattress that is either too soft or too hard can worsen joint or muscle pains and affect pressure points. Consider a new mattress such as a pressure release mattress that adheres to your exact needs as a sleeper. What is a pressure relief mattress? It’s a mattress that can minimize stress on pressure points and give more extensive support for your head and body to relieve strain.

Create a relaxing space to wind down before bed. Have one hour of quiet time before sleeping, and make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially close to bedtime. Physical activities during the day can help you sleep faster at night, so exercise and get the body moving.

Relax and Have a Restful Sleep

The right amount of sleep can help you function well and become more productive. Lack of sleep can lead to microsleep which can sometimes be dangerous at work, especially if you are operating equipment. Sleep deprivation can also affect the quality of your work and health. So please don’t wait until it’s too late. Just relax, close your eyes, and have a restful sleep.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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