Have you lost a few days of work last year because of lack of sleep the previous night? If yes, you are not alone. According to the World Sleep Survey, sleep deprivation is the reason behind employees not attending work or not being productive at work.
University of Oxford and Big Health, U.K. based health care company found in a study that U.S. employees lose an average of 7 days of work per year due to their sleep problems. People with “less than average” quality of sleep lose more than thirteen days of work. That represents a loss of $63.2 billion, considering the whole nation.
Poor quality of sleep is also associated with lower job satisfaction, less innovation and even unethical behaviour at work. Insufficient sleep can affect judgement and mood, and often results in a serious health issue. Approximately 18 million people in the United States confessed that lack of sleep impacted their performance at the workplace.
Here are some facts that you should know about sleep deprivation and its adverse effects at the workplace.
Sleep insufficiency decreases not only productivity but innovation too
How does sleep problems affect productivity and innovation? Sleep insufficiency affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which controls creativity, self-control, and innovation. According to a study, if a person does not sleep for 24 hours, it can damage his decision-making and innovative thinking. And for companies that rely on employees’ innovative thinking for company decisions, sleep insufficiency can actually hurt company’s time and money.
Sleep insufficiency and stress are a vicious cycle
Two out of Three Americans stated that insufficient sleep was the reason behind stress. And their work was highly affected by stress and sleep insufficiency. Chris Winter, M.D. stated that “Stress is to sleep as yin is to yang. In the sleep world, these two are the opposite forces that are forever linked. Not having enough sleep will result in stress and stress will prevent sleep.”
We are not able to devote to our work due to insufficient sleep which results in an increase in stress and its consequences.
So what can be done to overcome sleep problems? What initiatives should a company take for employee’s health? Employers can address employee’s sleep problems and discuss it in corporate wellness programs.
Generally such corporate programs address health and dietary issues but sleep and stress issues are highly neglected. According to research, naps can help employees increase their productivity even if they had insufficient sleep last night. Employees should be allowed to take a nap of maximum 30 minutes in a day. However, as per the report, only 6% workplaces have napping rooms for employees.
Encouraging employees to take a nap break and unplug more during office hours can be an initiative that can increase their productivity. Do not let sleep deprivation become a hindrance for your company’s growth.