Four Ways Sleep Can Make Or Break Your Career

What makes someone successful in the career? Is it determination, creativity, ambition, or something a lot simpler? As scientists learn more about the inner workings of the human brain, one thing becomes clear: the brain works best after getting a good night’s sleep of at least seven hours. It seems that instead of putting in extra long hours at the office, you should be spending a few extra hours between the sheets. So how exactly does sleep affect your career? Let’s take a look at the following four factors:

  • Job performance – A study done at Harvard Medical School found that sleep can improve performance in some motor skill tasks, and that motor skill learning is actually maximized when we get enough sleep. Those who are sleep deprived actually work slower, make more errors, and are generally more unproductive in daily tasks.
  • Learning new skills – To be successful in our careers, and stay ahead of the curve, we must always be learning new skills. Many studies have found evidence that getting enough sleep improves our ability to remember and learn. It seems that sleep functions as a time to organize thoughts and new information in a way that helps our brains process it. If we want to stay on top of the game in the workplace, rest is essential.
  • Regulating emotions and stress – Feeling agitated and overwhelmed after a night of lost sleep is normal. But regularly skimping on shut eye can contribute to extreme mood swings, and increased levels of stress. Sleep helps to fend off depression and anxiety. When we don’t sleep enough, our adrenal glands produce cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.” When your cortisol levels are high, it can make anxiety and insomnia worse. It’s a vicious cycle – when you don’t sleep enough, it contributes to stress and anxiety that  keep you up at night. Emotional stability can play a big part in your career – a positive demeanor and the ability to handle stress well can help you get ahead.
  • Overall wellness – sleep helps your body repair its cells and heal, and can give your immune system a boost. When you’re deprived of sleep, you’re more likely to get sick, and will stay sick longer. When it comes to your career, missing many days work due to illness can really set you back.

The benefits that sleep has on workplace behavior is so clear, that some companies are starting to pay their employees for good sleep habits. Atena insurance is offering their employees a great deal: for every 20 days an employee says that they slept at least seven hours, they can earn $25 – up to $300 total every year, which makes for 240 nights of good sleep. Fitness devices can help track sleep totals, and from there, they are logged into a program which makes it easy to see sleep patterns.

If you find yourself regularly getting less than the recommended seven hours, it is vital to change your habits, not just for the benefit of your career, but for every aspect of your health. Try to start a calming bedtime routine about an hour before you want to fall asleep, and keep the electronics off. In addition, take a look at your mattress and pillow. If you find that your sleep is often interrupted by cramps or stiffness in your neck or back, it may be time to replace them. A new pillow can help you get uninterrupted sleep, which in turn, could change your career, health, and life for the better. If you’re ready to trade in your old bed pillow for something truly luxurious, explore every thing Queen Anne Pillow Company has to offer. Because better health starts with better sleep.