How A Bad Night's Sleep Will Affect Your Day In The Office
We’ve all been there – waking up for work at 6am, after just a couple of hours sleep, and having to rely on energy drinks, sugary snacks and coffee to get through the day.
We know not to drive when we’re exhausted, since tiredness can affect our reaction times, but few of us consider the dangerous side effects of being sleep deprived at work. The reality is, a tired brain is a brain that cannot function as it should. Not getting the recommend hours of sleep each night can lead to a whole host of problems, many of which impact your ability to do your job effectively.
Whether it’s a night out with friends, or a late night finishing a report, sometimes an all-nighter is unavoidable. So if you know you’re facing a day without adequate rest, here are some of the consequences to watch out for. Luckily we’ve got a few tips to help you make it through a long day at the end of this article too!
You can’t concentrate
When you’ve not had enough sleep, the brain has not been able to use up all of the sleepy hormone it processes while you’re asleep, meaning you wake up still feeling groggy. This fogginess leaves you feeling less alert, so you’ll have trouble focusing at work.
Plus, if you’ve not had enough sleep, the neurons in your brain become overworked and can no longer function correctly. Even the most productive member of staff will struggle to process information and concentrate on tasks when sleep deprived.
You can’t make decisions
Brain scans have demonstrated less activity in the frontal and parietal lobes in participants who have been sleep deprived. These areas of the brain are key in decision making, so just trying to decide what to have for lunch when you’re exhausted can seem trickier than usual.
Best leaving any really important decisions to another day when you’ve had enough shut eye.
You can’t remember valuable information
While you sleep, your brain gets to work processing information and forming memories. If you skip this all-important rest, your brain will have trouble retaining new information and your memory will suffer as a result. So trying to recall that important phone call you had yesterday may prove a little tricky.
You snap at your co-workers
Ever noticed how annoying everyone seems when you’ve not had enough sleep? Studies have found that sleep deprivation causes you to feel more irritable, angry and hostile. It’s no wonder you feel like the only sober person at the party in a loud office after an all-nighter. Make sure you leave any important conversations with clients, or negotiations with your boss, until a day when you’re feeling a little less argumentative.
What can you do about it?
- Prioritise your tasks for the day and make sure you do the most important ones at a time when you’re most alert. For some people this might be first thing in the morning, for others it might be a little later in the day.
- Put the kettle on and have a cup of tea! A hit of caffeine will take around 30 minutes to kick in, but it will help you through the mid-morning slump. Just be careful not to drink too much after lunch, otherwise you risk not being able to drift off later.
- Have a nap – yes really! A 20 minute snooze on your lunch break will help boost alertness and improve your mood.
- Boost your screen brightness. The bright light triggers your internal body clock and tells your body that it’s time to be awake.
- Go easy on yourself! Your brain function is impaired, so don’t expect big things today. Rearrange any non-essential tasks and leave any big decisions until tomorrow.
- Take 15ml of Benenox before bed to make sure any sleep you do manage to get is high quality, leaving you ready to take on the next day.
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