Sleep is an often-misunderstood bodily need. It’s unlike anything else that governs our bodies. Most people don’t have a good understanding of how sleep works and how it affects the mind and body. It’s a lot more complicated than it seems.
Sleep deprivation is similarly complicated, but there are some recognizable patterns in how it affects our mental state and productivity. If you find that sleep or lack thereof is affecting your workday, you might be on to something. There are a couple of crucial factors to consider when organizing your sleep schedule.
1. Having a routine is crucial
Your body and mind don’t like having a dynamic schedule. They want predictable patterns to adapt and conform to. Sleep is one of these patterns that need to be consistent in order to be fully effective. Even if you’re getting enough sleep every day, when you decide to sleep is almost as important as how much you sleep.
Our circadian rhythm isn’t just used to regulate sleep. Various important hormones are released throughout the day, and they depend on your sleep schedule. Keeping things consistent makes it easier for the body to release them at crucial times. If you’ve ever tried eating after a good night’s sleep, you’ll know that the digestive system basically shuts down during this time. Your body can restart it during the morning if it recognizes that there’s a pattern to when you wake up.
A proper sleep schedule allows your body to adapt and enter into different sleep phases more consistently and efficiently. A more chaotic sleep schedule will lead to confusion and cause more frequent sleepless nights. Having an ironclad schedule is pretty difficult, but you should at least aim to hit four to six hours of sleep at one time. Breaking it up into several random sleep patterns wouldn’t do you any good.
2. Sleep management is like saving funds
We all have a certain amount of sleep we need every night. To remain functional and productive, people need around six to eight hours of shut-eye. On the other hand, you’ve probably experienced sleepless nights from time to time after which you could function relatively fine. A bit of coffee probably helped as well.
Just because you’ve survived one night of minimal sleep doesn’t mean it won’t have a negative effect on you down the road. Think of sleeping like depositing money into a bank. You need a certain amount of money to get through the week, whether or not you save for it. When you decide not to deposit enough of your paycheck for a whole week, you won’t feel the effects until you run out of money. Lack of sleep eventually catches up to you and affects your productivity throughout the week.
3. There are different productive peaks throughout the day
During the day, you can expect to have different spikes of productivity. Oftentimes, people are less productive in the morning right after they wake up. There’s a gradual increase in productivity as the day goes on, with a maximum peak that varies among individuals. For some, there are several different peaks with varying levels of productivity. Sleep has an enormous effect on these peaks and it can affect your entire workday.
Feeling tired and groggy after a night’s sleep is only a temporary decrease in productivity. If you get a minimal amount of beauty sleep during the evening, you will eventually feel the consequences during the day. You’ll likely lose out on a lot of productivity and feel tired as time passes. If this drop in focus and productivity coincides with your productive peaks, you’re going to lose out on them. Instead of being at maximum productivity during this time, you will have difficulty maintaining a baseline level of work.
4. Comfortable environments make for better sleep and wakefulness
There has been a lot of emphasis on the quality of a person’s sleep in the past few years. As it turns out, our surrounding environment has a humongous influence on how we sleep. Today’s cities have a lot of noise and light pollution which does not go well with our natural need for silence and darkness during the night. These factors make sleep less effective and leave us feeling groggy and tired throughout the day.
Start by removing unnecessary light sources from your room. Any appliance with a light that stays on should be unplugged or turned off unless it serves an essential function. Keep your bed comfortable and cozy for the night. Having quality bed sheets will keep you warm through the winter and cool during the summer. Temperature management is important for a good night’s sleep. Your mattress shouldn’t sink too deep, or it could cause you some restless nights shifting and turning around in your bed. With the perfect environment, you’re going to find that the quality of your sleep increases and you can better focus while awake.
5. Better sleep equals better results
As complicated as sleep is, making the conscious decision to improve one’s schedule is one of the best things you can do to improve your day-to-day affairs. Improper sleeping patterns and environments have a very recognizable effect on productivity and wakefulness. It’s enough to miss one night of sleep to see the consequences right away.
With a regular sleep schedule and proper nutrition, you slowly start seeing improvements in your daily tasks. Your focus increases and you’re able to maintain it for longer periods of time. With every positive change you introduce to your sleeping pattern, you’re going to see positive results.
It turns out that sleep has a humongous effect on productivity during and after work hours. It’s still a mystery why we need to sleep so may hours during the night, but it obviously does something positive to our minds. If you decide to improve your sleep hygiene, take some of these points into consideration. They will help you achieve your goals with relative ease and you’ll be sleeping like a baby every other night.
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