We live in a reality where we always have to be in a rush. Thus, we deprive ourselves of many important things, like getting enough exercise or sticking to a healthy diet. But most importantly, we deprive ourselves of sleep.
And while most of us think that a couple of sleepless nights won’t harm us, constantly skipping on a full night’s sleep can cause a detrimental damage. Reportedly, lack of sleep is linked to 274,000 workplace accidents a year, and the effects of insomnia or sleep deprivation cost companies and the government over $31 billion.
More and more experts claim that companies should help employees to ensure work-life balance, which unavoidably involves getting enough rest and sleep. Work-life balance is a mental health issue, and it’s well-known that constant sleep deprivation harms mental health. Hence, it harms the ability to have work-life balance itself.
So how can an extra hour of sleep change your work-life balance?
1. Improving your cognitive abilities
Sleep deprivation affects our cognitive abilities. National Sleep Foundation research show that over 60% of respondents stated they had problems with their cognitive abilities, including being impatient, finding it hard to concentrate and feeling less productive.
That’s why we often find it difficult to communicate at a workplace and to do our work assignments. But just an extra hour of sleep can positively influence our cognitive abilities, boost productivity and ability to concentrate.
2. Boosting your health
Taking care of your physical health is crucial to achieving work-life balance. Being healthy is important for your work performance and your everyday life in general.
It’s well known that lack of sleep has detrimental effects on our health. Over a small period of time, it can result in high blood pressure, weakened immunity, heart disease and even higher risks of diabetes.
When you’re sleeping, your immune system produces cytokines – substances that fight inflammation and infection. They are the bricks that build up your immune system and make it stronger against illnesses. The same is going on with your central nervous system: when your brain is exhausted from sleep deprivation, it’s harder for it to send your body the signals about pain and damage.
You put yourself under a lot of risks when you’re depriving yourself of sleep. It becomes hard to maintain a work-life balance if you have to deal with consequences of sleep deprivation.
3. Improving your well-being
For years, researchers have been studying the effects of sleep deprivation on our mood. The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that even partial sleep deprivation leads to stress and anxiety. Subjects who’ve had only 4.5 hours of sleep found themselves sad, overwhelmed and exhausted. So the influence of sleep on our mood and general well-being is undeniable.
There’s also a strong connection between the lack of sleep and psychological problems. Just as getting enough sleep makes our body stronger, it also helps our mind to recover and feel safer. That is why many people who have to deal with sleep deprivation or insomnia often feel anxious or even depressed.
All of these factors directly impact our work and social life. When we are sleep deprived and don’t feel about the work we’re doing, it not only influences our performance and ability to socialize with others, it also can lead to various work-related accidents. That is why many employers have started to take action and take care of the well-being of their employees.
McCarthy&Co, who’ve investigated various workplace accidents in the healthcare sphere, have found out that nurses and doctors who’ve been sleep deprived, make five times as many errors in diagnosing and other performance related tasks. That is why a balanced work shift and ability to have a good rest, followed by physical exercises and a healthy diet are important in order to positively influence work-life balance.
You won’t be able to perform well at work and enjoy your life simultaneously if you’re sleep deprived. Remember that having a good night’s sleep is more important than anything else. If you put your sleeping pattern in order and get enough sleep every night, you will be able to avoid many health-related problems and get your life more balanced.