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Career Advice

4 Top Reasons Why A Good Night’s Sleep Will Help With Business Management

‘Money never sleeps’ – an old saying made popular again by a relatively new movie. What it basically means is that business never stops, that money is being made 24/7.

For a long time, such a mentality resulted in the spread of a workplace culture that glorified long hours. Going home at the correct time was somehow seen as you not pulling your weight.

Whilst surviving on 4 hours’ sleep may work for a handful of superstar CEOs, for the vast majority of employees whether they be assistants or managers a lack of sleep means just one thing: poor performance.

Fortunately, this mindset seems to be shifting now, with large companies increasingly committed to the health and wellbeing of their employees. Schemes such as flexitime and remote offices are now becoming widespread. Thankfully.

Another positive development is that the quality of a worker’s performance is now seen as far more important than the number of hours they stay glued to their desk. Burning the candle at both ends takes second chair to simply burning brightly.

So how can you shift with the times? Well, sleep experts say that getting decent sleep is important in many aspects of life. And below are 4 ways in which a good night’s sleep will help with business management.

Improved health

It’s now known that chronic sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on both your physical and mental health. Study after study has shown the link between poor sleep and heart attacks, heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity.

There’s no way you can perform well at work if you aren’t, in fact, at work (because you’re sick at home in bed). Similarly, you can’t climb to the top of the corporate ladder if you drop dead mid-ascent. My advice? Hit the sack earlier, and avoid getting the sack.

Improved working relationships

Management is all about interpersonal relationships – and it’s hard to connect with colleagues or embrace networking opportunities if you’re grouchy, impatient or yawning in people’s faces. No matter how good you look at work, if you’re carrying giant bags around under your eyes, you ain’t going to be popular come lunchtime.

And another thing. Sleep deprivation leads to a lack of emotional intelligence, impaired willpower and a noticeable reduction in our ability to properly read facial cues, which hinders our ability to show empathy and understanding towards others.

Basically a lack of sleep can make you a bad person to be around, and that certainly isn’t going to help your career prospects. Nobody likes to see a colleague yawning mid-presentation. Don’t be that person. Don’t be a bosshole! Get some sleep.

Improved attention to detail

Your colleague Greg who brags that he can perform on just 4 hours’ sleep might be telling the truth in certain respects, but not the whole truth.

Sleep-deprived people can perform completely adequately at any given task; however, what a study by Clifford Stapher has shown, is that these individuals lack the capacity to regain focus once it has been lost. So they may be able to concentrate on the the task at hand, but multi-tasking – an essential skill in the modern workplace – is nearly impossible.

And what’s worse, these sleep-deprived zombies lose self-awareness, so they don’t even know when their performance standards have dropped. So suck it, Greg…

Improved memory and decision-making

Ever drawn a blank midway through an important presentation to the boss or forgotten the chairman’s name mid-introduction? Well, sleep deprivation could be to blame.

‘Sleep loss affects how you think…It impairs your cognition, your attention, and your decision-making’, says Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, a professor of psychology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and author of Sleep Deprived No More.

A lack of sleep has been shown to significantly reduce your mood, alertness and with it the performance of your memory. One study in Australia found that getting just 2 hours’ sleep less than normal had the equivalent effect on performance as turning up to work after 2 or 3 alcoholic beverages. And probably, was far less fun.

You wouldn’t turn up to work drunk (at least you shouldn’t), so why arrive sleep deprived? Improve your sleep, increase both your alertness and your memory and never forget a name again.   

It seems that the saying ‘money never sleeps’ should be confined to the dustbin of history and replaced by a more appropriate saying. How about: ‘sleeping your way to success’? No negative connotations with that one, right?! Hmm…


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