Sleep is a big part of healthiness and wellbeing — although the exact amount of sleep each person needs to feel rested varies. Most healthy adults need eight hours of shut eye a night, on average.
Without the proper amount of sleep, you can experience physical, emotional and psychological effects — impacting your day-to-day life and your career.
Here’s are three reasons why sleep matters no matter which job you have:
Sleep Affects your Judgment
You need to have your wits about you in any workplace, to ensure that you are completing your tasks well. Regardless of whether you are a law enforcement officer, a teacher, a warehouse worker, a dentist or a store clerk, you make decisions every single workday. Some decisions may seem inconsequential, while others have more weight to them. When you are short on sleep, making any decision can be challenging, ill-advised, and even dangerous.
One study found that a lack of sleep affects a person’s moral judgment. It found that sleep deprivation is debilitating to rational decision-making. This is because when sleep is lacking, there is a decrease in brain activity in the area involved in emotion processing. It’s known as the prefrontal cortex. When not well rested, individuals can miscalculate what is deemed appropriate and aren’t able to utilize their emotional intelligence.
Sleep Deprivation Makes You Susceptible to Illness
When you lack sleep, your body is in a weakened state and your immune system isn’t running on all cylinders. Various studies have shown that people who are not able to get quality slumbers are at a higher risk of falling ill when exposed to a virus. This is because when you’re asleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which fight off infection or inflammation. If you’re not getting those sleeping hours in, the production of the protective cytokines is reduced, leaving you more vulnerable to illness.
A deficiency in sleep also makes it harder for your body to get well after you’ve come down with something. Recovery time is longer.
Sleep Deprivation can also lead to more serious health issues. If a person suffers from a sleep disorder or chronic sleep loss, it puts them at risk for heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke or diabetes.
Being sick means missing work. Or it can mean going to work anyways and exposing your coworkers to illness. All of this results in you falling behind in your work tasks and lost productivity for your whole workplace. Much of this lost time can be avoided with consistent good nights’ sleep.
Sleep Impacts Your Memory
In every job, there are tasks with deadlines and other people who are relying on you to complete your work effectively and efficiently. If your memory isn’t working, you can take missteps in your work.
When sleep is lacking, it affects memory in two ways. Firstly, without adequate amounts of sleep, a person’s ability to focus and learn is impaired. This means that when a person is meant to be processing a skill or piece of information, it won’t stick like it would if they were well rested.
Secondly, sleep allows the brain to consolidate and store memories for recall later on.
Depending on the nature of your work, if the memory isn’t functioning and storing as well as it should, there can be dangerous consequences. Air traffic controllers, pilots, truck drivers, doctors and nurses all need their memory on point to remember the tasks they’ve completed, what remains and how to do their duties well.
People in the professions, which require shift work, including medical professionals, can experience lack of sleep due to changing work schedules. For these people, there are ways to help acclimate to a new working and sleeping schedule.
Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t a luxury it’s a necessity. Regardless of the job you work, if you want to do it well and succeed, you need to make the time to get the sleep your body needs. It will leave you feeling positive, focused and healthy, enabling you to do your job to the very best of your ability.
About the Author
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for "The Drifter Collective." Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.