It’s no secret that adequate sleep is the key to physical and mental health, but it’s lesser known that sleeping and productivity are directly related. People often try to squeeze in more productivity on less sleep, following the popular notion that staying up late or waking up early can allow you to get more done in the day, but research suggests that getting lots of sleep is the best way to ensure that you get more done. Here are a few ways that getting more sleep can boost your productivity:
You’ll make fewer mistakes.
Studies have shown that moderate sleep deprivation causes a response time and accuracy rate on simple tasks that is 50 percent slower than someone who is under the influence of alcohol. Ample sleep will allow you to perform tasks with greater accuracy, preventing you from needing to take the time later to correct the mistakes that you made while sleep-deprived.
Your memory will improve.
Sleep is crucial to your brain’s ability to remember, retain, and recall information. Sleep deprivation impairs learning and the ability to make new memories due to the incredible memory-making process that occurs during sleep. A 2007 Harvard study has shown that the consolidation of information that happens during sleep is essential for learning new information. When your memory is working at its fullest capacity, you’ll find yourself getting more done with greater accuracy.
You’ll prevent burnout.
Many people believe that to be productive is to push themselves harder and harder to achieve more and more, but this can cause burnout, a physical or mental collapse that is caused by overwork or stress. While burnout can be caused by a spell of productivity, it may be setting you back because of the time that is needed to recover from it. Taking control of how much you work and having healthy sleeping habits prevents burnout and allows you to be consistently productive.
You’ll have better decision-making skills.
Better sleep makes for a clearer mind, and being well-rested allows for a better mental capacity and therefore better decision-making skills. The National Sleep Foundation has shown that decision-making skills can improve by 4 percent when you are well-rested as opposed to when you are sleep deprived.
You’ll have fewer distractions.
Recent research has suggested that as many as 75 percent of people with severe attention deficits may have a chronic sleep problem due to a regular disruption to their circadian rhythms, which is the body’s natural cycle that regulates sleep. Adequate, undisturbed sleep allows you to go throughout the day fully awake, making it easier for your mind to stay clear and for your eyes to stay open, allowing you to concentrate on your goals with little distractions.
While you may be tempted to skip on sleep to get more done, going to bed early or sleeping in is the best way to boost your productivity. The next time you feel burned out, put down your work and get some rest. Your body, brain, and career will thank you.
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