Once you hit adulthood, you spend many a sleepy morning cursing your childhood self for fighting sleep so much. Now you desperately need it, and you cannot get it. As it turns out, this cycle of bad sleep, bad work, bad sleep is going to hit you right in the promotion.Here’s why.
When you are tired, you find it harder to be productive. On occasion, a night with not enough sleep is probably not going to really cost you. Chronic sleep deprivation, on the other hand, positively murders your efficiency, creativity and problem-solving skills. Researchers have found that it impairs your cognitive awareness and stops the natural regeneration of nerve connections that affect memory. These changes to your brain can injure your ability to reason through your work, interact with others and remember what you have done throughout the day. Even though about a third of Americans claim they suffer from this problem regularly, there’s no safety in numbers here.
Here are five signs that lack of sleep is already hurting you more than you think:
- You are chronically late. It’s fine to be late to work because of an unexpected traffic jam or occasional oversleeping. Do it more than once every couple of weeks, though, and your coworkers aren’t buying. They see your fresh Starbucks cup and they are onto you. Which is even worse when…
- You keep leaving work early. As long as you leave after your boss, it’s cool, right? Yeh, no. Over time, your lax attention to your work ethic will make your colleagues start a passive-aggressive system of documenting your laziness and ineptitude. At the start of the list…
- You are as scattered as Lindsay Lohan. All this showing up late and leaving early means you are going to miss out on some important, timely stuff. Many meetings and appointments may feel irrelevant to you, but you could really be hurting if you forget your performance appraisal. That’s where your boss wants to discuss the fact that…
- You sleep during meetings. It’s not Carl from accounting’s fault that he sounds like Ben Stein. The one person who is not on their phone through the entire meeting sees your glazed expression and slight drool path. They’re watching to see how…
- Your work fails. Over time, all these problems accumulate. If your colleagues all know, then it’s safe to say your boss does, too. Chronic errors in your work, on top of a minimal effort, could eventually direct you straight to the unemployment line.
Doing any of these on a regular basis is enough to get you into trouble at work. All five can hit your job security like an F5 tornado. If you want to save your job and your sanity, try these tried and true fixes:
Create a bed time routine. Humans are creatures of habit. Although it can take anywhere from 30-60 days to instill a new habit, it’s worth doing to keep your job. Simply pick 3 or 4 things to prepare yourself for bed. For example:
- 1 hour before bed shut off all electronic devices.
- 50 minutes before bed brush your teeth.
- 40 minutes before bed lay out the clothes you are going to wear for the next day.
- 30 minutes before bed curl up with a good book to relax your mind and get work off of your brain.
Soon this ritual will become commonplace and your body and mind will be able to sense that sleep is near and in a few months you’ll go from no good lazy co-worker to over-achieving boss’s right hand person!
Change the color of your bedroom walls. Believe it or not, color can affect your sleep. If you are staring at brown or tan walls when you lay down at night, then you’re most likely being reminded of work and the stress you can’t escape. No wonder you’re falling asleep on the job, it’s like you never left! Change your walls to a more peaceful, sleep inducing color like green, blue or yellow. Soon you’ll be dreaming of rolling hills and oceans blue instead of rolling office chairs and oceans of paperwork.
Take a (deliberate) nap during lunch. Research has shown that a nap of 30 minutes or less a day will promote wakefulness and improve learning ability. So, just shut your office door, sit in your car, or go hide in the janitor’s closet to re-charge for the rest of the afternoon. Sure beats falling asleep during your performance review!
With the right attitude toward sleep and a relaxing 4Sleep mattress, you can increase your work productivity and keep your boss off your back.