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The impact of sleep deprivation on work quality was the focus of a recent survey by global job site Careerbuilder.com. Sixty-one per cent of the survey's group of 3,300 workers across various industries in the US mentioned an adverse result of not getting enough sleep, which ranged from making the day go slower, to affecting their productivity, mood and interactions with coworkers.
These negative impacts are not surprising. What's actually concerning is how many people don't realise the cost of sleep deprivation and they don't prioritise sleep in work nights. Staying up late can simply reduce their ability to do their best at their current job, which means they are less likely to advance and get better positions in the long run. In addition, sleep deprivation can also cause health problems, which again don't help with your focus on your career and life quality.
Whatever is keeping you up late at night, you must consider the long-term impact on your work quality and health. In some cases, there may be no easy alternative. But a little bit of creativity may help you minimise the impact and change your habits.
Here are a few points to get you started.
People are different in terms of their sleep requirements, but generally it is advisable to get about eight hours of sleep every night. So even if you feel fully functioning on just five or six hours of sleep, try getting eight hours of sleep consistently and see the difference in your energy levels, focus and clarity. Your definition of functioning may be changed if you give yourself a chance to get more rest.
With increasing your hours of sleep, you also may find that you're getting more productive, having more tolerance for office shenanigans and your energy goes farther throughout the workday. In short, the quality of your work and your life increases by just sacrificing a couple of leisure hours at night to sleep.
Think of your first work in any new job. You probably planned for what you are going to wear, skipped the 11pm news and went to bed relatively early to make sure that you will be able to make the best impression the next day. All of these factors don't change over time. If you want to make a good, lasting impression, you must plan for the work that have in the morning. This planning can be as minimal as having the clothes that you'll wear the next day ready to reduce the morning stress.
Sleep is a major factor in this planning. If you're out with friends or family, make sure that you get home in time to do your chores and make it to bed early enough. Don't spend hours aimlessly surfing the internet, reading or watching television while you can get rest. These leisure activities may seem to be improving your life quality, but in the long run they can be harmful to your health and work — both are essential to maintaining your lifestyle.
If your social network including your family members and friends are not on board with this early-to-bed schedule, it can be hard to implement and maintain. There are similar benefits for your schoolchildren and spouse. So try to explain why you're making changes and get them on board. Having a quiet house can help you get better rest. In addition, minimising the telecom disruptions late at night improves the quality of your sleep, which in turn translates into better productivity, mood and concentration the next day.
Your friends — if they are night owls — may find your new schedule amusing or they be inspired by your change and follow suit. Either way, if you are convinced of the benefits and you see the rewards in improving your career opportunities by taking this small step, you must follow through regardless. Your ability to show up for work every day full or energy and enthusiasm will help you feel more fulfilled and encourage you to maintain your new routine.
Focus on work
— Better sleep improves concentration and productivity
— Change your lifestyle to accommodate your schedule
— Make a good impression every day
— Monitor your energy levels and clarity
Get to know the significance of a sincere objective
Source: Rania Oteify, Special to gulfnews.com
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor