Sleep deprivation is a form of torture because our brain stops functioning properly without sleep. But even moderate sleep deprivation impairs performance significantly. After 16-17 hours of being awake your performance is equivalent to driving drunk.A lack of sleep impacts our ability to perform well and ability to focus on tasks making us less productive.
In this series of videos and blogs I’ve been looking at productivity hacks that can help you get through more each hour of the day so then out of the office earlier.
Our normal work hours are so packed with meetings, phone calls, video conferences it seems the only time left in the day to do some work is after normal office hours are over. Finally a quiet office and a chance for a few hours of uninterrupted work on a project. Now you’re burning the midnight oil. After a few hours’ sleep and it’s up early again to beat the crowded commute and back to the office.
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture because our brain stops functioning properly without sleep. But even moderate sleep deprivation impairs performance significantly. After 16-17 hours of being awake (say getting up at 6am and finishing at midnight or 1am) then performance is equivalent to driving drunk in some countries (blood alcohol level of 0.05%).
The lack of sleep impacts our ability to perform well and ability to focus on tasks making us less and less productive. Over 1000 international professional people surveyed by Ashridge Business School showed that lack of sleep meant they were:
• Less able to focus in meetings (69%)
• Took longer to complete tasks (68%)
• Challenged to generate new ideas (60%)
• More irritable and less able to control their emotions (84%)
The brain functions affected the most by a lack of sleep are those higher level functions needed to perform well in a professional or executive position: creativity, decision-making, adaptability and emotional control. 75% of those surveyed reported sleep causing them being more stressed, which makes you stupid. Lack of sleep mean it takes longer to do the same work, or you have to rework due to poor decision making. Imagine the time it takes to rebuild a relationship after an argument with a colleague, when a few more hours sleep could have meant you handled the discussion better.
Most of us are not getting enough sleep, not because we are being tortured but, because of our own choices. We work in companies that are on 24/7 with connectivity to peers, international travel and bosses who never seem to stop working. Working in an organisation where long hours are valued we get sucked into also working long hours, without thinking about it. But if you want to be focused and highly productive during the hours you’re at work, so you can spend fewer hours at work, then get enough sleep.
Join me on this video where I share the 5-4-3-2-1 principle on how to get a better night’s sleep.