How sleep impacts your work
Sleep is essential for a healthy life. All body functions depend on it. A person can easily go a day without nutrition or exercise, but a day without sleep has immediate adverse consequences. Sleeping problems lead to mood issues, a decrease in productivity and more prone to health issues. Possibly leading to absenteeism and occupational accidents resulting in economic and social costs. Read bout how sleep impacts your work, and what can you do about this.
Sleeping problems in the working population
After a good night of sleep, a person’s physical resistance and mental resilience are restored. In a study of the Dutch agency of Statistics (CBS, 2019), 19% of working people reported having sleeping problems. Among people who called themselves incapacitated for work; 58% indicated to have sleeping problems. Indicating a correlation between incapacity to work and sleeping problems.
Furthermore, the research suggests that sleeping problems are often associated with long-term illnesses, pain, and mental health. Almost half of all workers with sleep problems say their work is related to it. They are unable to let go of their work, experience too much work pressure or have less pleasure in their work. Some serious statements that you must keep in mind. So please, do not neglect your sleep. You need it!
The consequences of sleeping problems for your work
Sleeping problems have far reaching consequences. First of all, for you, but also for your colleagues and the organization you work for. Two in three employees say their sleep deprivation has an impact on their work and performance. But what does that mean for an employer?
Economic consequences of sleep deprivation
Some employees admit that they are sometimes absent due to sleeping problems. Calculations show that people who sleep less than six hours per night lose six working days per year compared to people who sleep seven to nine hours (RAND, 2016). Sleep deprivation costs an employer approximately € 1,440 per employee per year. That is, apart from the personal issues, a huge economical cost as well!
Mental consequences of sleep deprivation
Sleep deprived employees have trouble concentrating or remembering things. Most sleep neglecters confirm that they are more distracted and work slower than when they feel fit and rested. Mood swings are a known consequence of sleep deprivation as well. Any trifle can become a source of annoyance. They consider themselves impatient and tend to avoid other people. Those who do not rest well over a longer time period can even develop anxiety or fall into depression. A non-sleeping nightmare!
“People with sleep deprivation are 3x less productive than people who feel fit and recharged. They are often physically present, but mentally absent”. This is how sleep impacts your work.
Physical consequences of sleep deprivation
Roughly half of all workers with sleep deprivation have physical complaints what manifests in a cold that just will not go away or a hungry feeling. This voracity, the hunger for tasty food, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, a lack of sleep can also lead to diabetes and higher blood pressure.
How organizations can support their employees
- Organizations require their employees to be healthy and productive. And therefore, employees can expect the organization to take precautions. Organizational leaders should ask employees what they need to feel rested, fit, and resilient. Good ideas often arise from these kinds of conversations. To have a successful conversation, it is important to first understand the impact of sleep deprivation on the organization and secondly to make clear that the organization wants to help employees to sleep better.
- More and more companies are discouraging employees to work after working hours. Which is a good start! In addition, organizations can advise employees to not use a digital device within two hours before going to sleep. The brain must be allowed to switch off, so that it can charge itself optimally. Bright blue light from screens stimulates the brain to stay active instead of switching off.
- When employees can organize their working day themselves, they are more likely to find a healthy work-life balance. Try to give employees this freedom, when possible.
- By making work challenging, but not too excessive, your employees will experience less stress. Variation in activities also ensures less stress. Over-performing and under-performing can lead to stress, causing burnouts and bore-outs respectively.
- Motivate your employees to exercise more. By taking on the challenge together with Fitter and rewarding positive behavior, you promote both the team spirit and the sleep rhythm of your employees.
It is important to discuss sleeping problems and find solutions together. At Fitter we want you, your colleagues, and the whole organization to stay healthy and happy. Therefore, we are helping organizations to accomplish Employee Wellness. We have a vitality platform tailored to the needs of a modern-day organization. This way employees can get back to work fit, relaxed, and resilient. Interested in our vitality platform, fill out our form to get more information:
- CBS. (2019, August 20). Arbeidsongeschikten melden vaakst slaapproblemen.
- RAND (2016). Why sleep matters — the economic costs of insufficient sleep: A cross-country comparative analysis, RAND Corporation, RR-1791-VH, 2016