Employees who get 16 minutes less sleep than usual perform poorly at work: study

Have you been getting less sleep recently? Has this been affecting your performance at work? If the answers are two YESes, then perhaps you should look into what a new US study suggests. Accordingly, people who sleep less tend to perform poorly at work. In fact, just 16 minutes lesser amount of sleep can have drastic consequences on your ability to judge, concentrate and make better decisions.

So, what does this really mean for employees and workers? Going to bed early and getting an ample amount of rest may be vital for improving cognitive performance.

Sleep & Concentration. What did the study show?

The study took into observation the behaviour and cognitive ability of 130 workers at a US IT firm. The scientists looked into the relationship between last night sleep and the efficiency of next day work.

To accurately judge the productivity of the employees, a 5-point frequency scale was used. Subsequently, 9 questions were asked that corresponded with how well the workers were performing and the extent to which they felt distracted with their work. On the 5-point frequency scale, 0 signified never and 5 signified always. In between, a score 3 meant often. For example to the question, “Does your mind occupy itself with distracting thoughts while working?” Few of the employees replied with a 4 which meant very often.

Once the study ended, the results were documented and allowed scientists to make ready conclusions. From what the data showed, lesser hours of sleep duration were linked with poor work performance. That is to say, employees, who spent their night up were known to be less productive the very next day. Surprisingly enough, people who reported to have slept just 16 minutes less than their usual sleep duration also complained about having distracting thoughts during work. Either way, the conclusion drawn was that fewer hours of rest did inhibit the cognitive ability of employees.

Managing Lifestyle

The aforementioned discussion should tell you a lot about the importance of getting an adequate amount of sleep. Without fulfilling this objective, you may be less productive and less efficient as a consequence. Additionally, previous research studies have suggested that getting fewer hours of rest also contributes to greater stress.

The question that then arises: how should an employee manage their lifestyle? Considering that on an everyday basis there are tens of activities a person has to look forward to.

While there is no straightforward way out, the best option one can avail is to jot down a schedule. A schedule that makes sleep a priority irrespective of all the other additional activities. For employers, they should make it a point to not overwork their employees. Ensuring the wellbeing of the workers is as vital as ensuring the profitability of the corporation. In fact, the study would tell you that workers with poor physical wellbeing will fail to be efficient at their work.

Finally, saying NO to excessive caffeine and liquor is a must. While nothing seems more attractive than a hectic day followed by a night of drinking, the consequences can be difficult to deal with. Thereby, keeping a check on both is also a viable way out.


Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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