We all know how important sleep is, yet not many of us actually get a full night's rest every night of the week. In fact, The National Sleep Foundation did a poll in 2005 that indicated that Americans get less than 6.9 hours of sleep per night. This has a negative impact on their on productiveness and health. Some people stay up into the wee hours of the night with the intent of catching up on paper work, reading or doing household chores that they couldn't otherwise find time for, trying to do too much each day. The idea is to get more done in a 24-hour period, but that is not necessarily the case. Not getting enough sleep is a surefire way to reduce production. Have you ever noticed how cranky a child becomes when he doesn't get enough sleep? You can read the signs immediately and make them to take a nap or turn in early that night to fix the problem. Adults aren't that different. They get just as cranky when not getting enough sleep. Everyone needs that time to rejuvenate and feel refreshed. Just look at what college kids do to themselves by cramming for their finals. They stay up late to try to make the most of their time, but in the process, they set themselves up for failure by being overly tired, cranky and having poor memory. A few long nights with little sleep has some immediate effects. You may feel irritable, be accident prone, lack productivity, feel weak and be prone to headaches. Losing just one and a half hours of sleep per night causes slower performance and impaired alertness, reducing the ability to problem solve and think clearly. However, over time, the effects of lack of sleep become more serious. It goes beyond affecting how well you perform at school or work and begins affecting your health and overall quality of life. The impact of a lack of sleep can mean weight gain, poor metabolism, diabetes, heart disease and finding yourself in an early grave. Getting more sleep can improve your life in many ways. You will experience a better memory, improved health, more energy, better efficiency, increased metabolism, and a longer life expectancy. To get more sleep and reduce the impact poor sleep has on productivity, you need to start a schedule and maintain it, keep screens out of the bedroom, regularly exercise, avoid overeating before bed and limit drinks before bed.
March 15, 2015