How Can Sleep Make Us More Productive?
Today, people almost brag about the fact that they "sleep only x hours" because of the amount of work they have to deal with or how profoundly they study for the exams. If you ever caught yourself thinking the same way or you found yourself in a situation where you only sleep for a couple of hours, only to wake up and continue working until you can't really function anymore, then this article is for you.
Sleep and productivity are highly interlinked and should be mentioned together more often. You can do all sorts of things to make yourself more productive, inspired and motivated, but if you don't give your best to improve your sleep quality, you won't be able to maintain a high level of productivity in the long run. And as we all know, if we're trying to be successful, it is essential to think in long-terms.
We're explaining why your sleep is an essential part of your both academic and business success and how it can actually make you more productive.
1. Coping With Stress Better
When we're well-rested, we are more immune to stress. Try to measure your sensibility to stressful situations and compare your reactions on days you have slept enough and days you slept less than at least 6, 7 hours. You will inevitably find a pattern that will lead you to realize how much stress can affect our bodies, moods, and way of thinking.
Stress is known to be the number 1 killer of productivity, creativity, and motivation.
Therefore, when you have healthy sleeping habits and maintain good sleep hygiene, you will cope better with stress and, as a result, be more productive.
2. Better Memory
If you're wondering why students are often advised to get a decent amount of sleep the night before exams (instead of re-reading chapters and chapters), there is a scientific reason behind these suggestions.
Namely, sleep helps students achieve higher academic performances by consolidating their memory. While we sleep, our memories are being stored and the connections between our brain cells are being strengthened as information is transitioning from our short-term to long-term memory.
You'll agree that memorizing things and recalling them might be quite useful in numerous situations. Memorizing things better won't revolutionize your productivity, but it will definitely make you more efficient, which in the end - makes you more productive!
Therefore, if you're having problems recalling names or information, it may be a sign that you need to regain your healthy sleep.
3. More Efficient Problem-Solving Skills
Every job (as well as studying) comes along with certain problems that you have to solve in order to finish a task or complete a project. When you're able to deal with problems more quickly, you have more time to dedicate to the more enjoyable parts of what you're working on.
Maintaining healthy sleep habits will enable you to have quicker reactions. This translates to higher efficiency and, in the end, to improved productivity.
Driving while tired is highly discouraged because our reactions slow down when we're not rested. We suggest you apply the same principle to the work you're doing.
If you're working on something important that requires your full attention, focus and fast reactions, have in mind that a couple of good nights of sleep in a row will be the perfect way to prepare to nail that task.
4. Better (And Healthier) Decisions
Different studies have found that when we're sleep deprived we tend to have poorer decisions. When we lack sleep, we often skip on our workout routines, opt for unhealthy fast food and generally tend to make not-so-good decisions.
The studies suggest that getting enough sleep may actually be a good way to make better and healthier decisions.
When you get enough sleep, you'll be in a better mood, that will lead to a healthier way of thinking, healthier decisions, more exercise and so on. All these factors combined will inevitably boost your productivity.
It's about the entire lifestyle that revolves around a well-rested brain. You just won't be able to create such a mess of your life as you would be able with an exhausted brain.
5. Pro Tip: Additional Boost of Productivity
However, there are days when we just can't get an ideal amount of sleep. The reasons may be countless, but we all know that there are days when you just feel so drowsy and unproductive.
If you really can't spend the entire day catching up on your lost sleep, and you have to shake your thoughts up and be as productive as possible, here's a small tip that you will thank us for. Start practicing power napping! Power naps are an ideal way to rewire your brain when too tired and become more productive when you have to work or study for long hours. Make sure not to exceed 20 minutes while napping, or you may be feeling even more exhausted afterward.
About the Author
Kristina Lalovic is the editor of Colossal Sleep, a website about healthy sleep, sleeping
disorders and sleep-related problems people commonly face in their lifetimes. She used to
be the alarm-snoozer for a long time until she started paying more attention to her sleep
and sleeping patterns. Sleeping well changed the way she feels each day, which is why she
developed a passion for writing about sleep and understanding how our sleep really works.