Sleep is very important! While it is often overlooked, getting a good night’s sleep is imperative in maintaining a functional and healthy work environment. Sleep deprivation can have drastic negative impacts on workflow. Not only does it increase memory loss and irritability, it decreases concentration, efficiency, and productivity, which in turn hurts company culture. In fact, a total of $441 billion dollars, or 2.28% GDP, per year in the US market has been lost due to workers’ lack of sleep. (RAND Europe Analysis)
While sleep deprivation hurts companies, it’s even more harmful to individuals. It produces workers that are tired and miserable, which can have lasting effects on both mental and physical health. In order to practice good personal health and wellness, you should maintain a steady sleep schedule by doing the following:
1. Stop using electronics at least 30 minutes before bed.
The blue light that is emitted from electronic screens actually tricks our brains into believing that it is the middle of the day! This causes an imbalance in our natural sleep cycle. To prevent this, you should end screen time at least 30 minutes before bed.
2. Keep a consistent sleep schedule.
Habits are the result of an action repeated. Our bodies can be trained to go to sleep and wake up at a certain time by doing so consistently. Adhering to a set sleeping schedule is the best way to ensure that you will get the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep.
3. Don’t be tricked by Melatonin!
Sleep aids that promise a quick and easy cure for insomnia can seem enticing. However, melatonin supplements cause more harm than good. Using melatonin supplements can inhibit your body’s natural production of melatonin. This makes it difficult to sleep without supplements and eventually makes it challenging to fall asleep with the use of them, as well.
4. Establish a proper sleeping environment.
A comfortable sleep environment is vital in falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. You should keep your bedroom dark and cool. A dark and cool setting lowers cortisol (stress hormones) and increases your natural production of melatonin, ultimately allowing for better sleep.
5. Keep work and home separate.
When we work from home, it is tempting to answer emails or even fill out paperwork from the comfort of our beds. While it is comfortable, this should be avoided because it changes subconscious associations. Your bed is for sleeping, and when you introduce work, you welcome unconscious stressors. So, keep work out of your bed!
Yacinda Hernandez, Operations Intern