Not getting enough sleep at night can make you groggy and cranky, but it can also take a toll on your professional life. According to experts, the average adult requires at least 7 to 9 hours of rest to function properly. Unfortunately, most people get far fewer hours and the results are becoming measurable.
In fact, the long-term effects of sleep deprivation can have some serious consequences to your health and wealth in ways you may not have realized. Lack of adequate sleep not only drains your brain, but it can put a severe strain on your physical health. Scientists have recently discovered a clear link between sleep deprivation and all sorts of ailments, from a weakened immune system and heart disease to weight gain and diabetes.
Understanding How Sleep Affects the Human Body
Whether young or old, human beings need plenty of sleep just like they need plenty of air to breathe. While you sleep, your body is able to heal itself and restore the important chemical and hormonal balances that help you function at your highest potential. Without enough rest, people can start to mess up little things because the brain has not had enough time to develop new connections.
Sleep deprivation not only reduces the quality of your life, but it might also reduce the years of your life as well. More than a dozen modern-day studies have found that sleeping for less than the recommended number of hours can increase your risk of dying young by as much as 12%. Moreover, sleep deprivation can create a variety of annoying and career-damaging symptoms such as:
- Body aches
- Mood swings
Simply chugging a large cup of coffee or slurping down an energy drink is not enough. It may help you make it through the day, but it will do nothing for your overall health. Chronic sleep deprivation interferes with your bodily systems and can cause serious problems. The symptoms mentioned above are simply warning signs that you need to get more rest.
How Sleep Deprivation Can Be Damaging to Your Career
Making a living is important, but so is finding a balance between working and resting. Skipping on your sleep may help you meet deadlines but it will eventually wreak havoc on your ability to perform at work. In short, it impairs your brain and body functions in such a noticeable way that it might ultimately put your career in jeopardy.
Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your bottom line in the following 6 ways:
- It Stifles Creativity
When your brain isn’t functioning properly it’s very hard to be creative and think outside the box, especially when your financial well-being is at risk. The added pressure of having to perform on cue can make it difficult to be imaginative or inventive when it’s required.
- It Increases Your Stress
Suffering from reduced performance can stress you out, not to mention you’re likely more susceptible to stressors when your brain and body aren’t well rested. Sleep deprivation can create a snowball effect in your personal and professional lives that may result in a huge demotion.
- It Makes You Emotionally Reactive
Because a lack of sleep prevents your body from regulating hormones appropriately, it’s much easier to lose control of your emotions when you’ve not had enough rest. This inability to control your emotional urges might translate into counterproductive outbursts, mood swings, and preventable quarrels with coworkers during difficult projects.
- It Decreases Coordination
Inadequate brain and body functions may not seem serious, but you’ll change your mind once you start tripping over your own feet at work. Especially for employees who are required to be coordinated and physically adept, sleep deprivation can cause pose a real problem. Accidents are nearly five times more likely when a sleep deprived person is involved.
- It Hinders Your Memory
Remembering what your boss and/or coworkers just told you is an important part of any workday, but that may become problematic when you haven’t had enough sleep. Because your brain isn’t functioning properly, retaining memories becomes a luxury that your mind simply cannot afford. While it may not be a huge problem for just one day, chronic sleep deprivation can turn you into an unreliable liability to the company you work for.
- It Hampers Concentration
It makes perfect sense that sleep deprivation would hamper your ability to concentrate on tasks, especially when you’re busy managing the other symptoms of being tired. However, when you can’t concentrate on what you’re doing it can cause serious and/or costly mistakes that may put your position at risk. It may also make you difficult to work with or coach, which further reduces your performance at work.
The Final Verdict
Get the recommended number of hours of sleep each night to prevent career implosion, and don’t depend on energy drinks and coffee to get you from point A to point B.