How Sleep Affects Work Performance

Getting enough rest each night is a key factor in living a healthy and satisfying lifestyle. Understanding how sleep deprivation negatively affects work performance is essential to avoid problems at work or the risk of losing your job altogether.

Less Creativity

When you are unable to get enough sleep each night, you are likely to suffer from a creativity drought, especially if you are required to get creative on a regular basis. If you find yourself at a loss when designing or getting creative for work, there are likely underlying issues along with sleep deprivation contributing to the problem.

Increased Irritability

Increased irritability is one of the most common signs associated with a lack of sleep. When the body does not receive enough rest, it is forced to work in overdrive, causing emotions and feelings to go haywire throughout the day. If you feel constantly on edge, irritable, and unable to refrain yourself from arguments or snippy comebacks, sleep is likely the culprit.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are also extremely common among individuals who suffer from sleep deprivation regularly. Even if you feel as though your body does not require 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, it is important to dedicate time to getting rest and allowing yourself to recover after a long and stressful day.

Anxiety and depression do not always occur overnight, and often show signs in patients slowly and due to external circumstances, added stress, and lack of sleep. When you become anxious or depressed, it becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate, socialize, or even relate to others, triggering additional aversions to social situations, work, and even hobbies or interests that you once had a passion for and thoroughly enjoyed.

When you feel anxious or depressed, seeking help from a medical professional is essential. Although increasing the amount of rest you are able to get each night is a start, a medical professional or therapist is ideal to help work through other potential underlying troubles that are interfering with your life.

Inability to Focus

The inability to focus is commonly associated with a lack of sleep in combination with anxiety, depression, or even autoimmune diseases. When you are not providing your body with enough rest, your brain has to work even harder, which is not always possible if you are always “running on empty”. The inability to focus at work is a slippery slope to potential repercussions or losing your position altogether.

When you are having trouble focusing at work, speak with your healthcare provider while also improving your lifestyle habits and getting at least 7 to 10 hours of sleep each night (depending on your age).


Being unable to remember conversations, tasks, or projects at work is not only stressful but extremely humiliating for those who rarely have difficulty at work or in front of their peers. If you notice that your memory is not as sharp lately, consider increasing the amount of sleep you are getting each night.

Improving Your Sleep Schedule

Eliminate all habits or toxic habits that may contribute to not getting enough rest, especially any alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications that keep you from sleeping or cause other adverse reactions such as anxiety, brain fog, or memory loss.

Exercise regularly at least three times each week, and more if you are still unable to fall asleep at a steady time each night. Walking, running, or participating in any form of cardio exercise for at least 30 minutes each day is ideal to keep your muscles moving and to provide your body with the movement it requires to remain healthy and strong.

When you are exercising regularly, your body is much more likely to feel exhausted and ready for bed at a set time you have in place. Individuals who suffer from insomnia often lack physical exercise, which is extremely beneficial in helping the body feel worn out and ready for a good night’s sleep.

Avoid sleeping in on weekends or your days off if you want to keep your schedule intact and with fewer interruptions. Avoid staying out too late or drinking on evenings off, as this often contributes to depleted work performance if it becomes habitual long-term.

When you understand how important sleep is for the body and mind, it is much easier to make getting a good night’s rest a priority, regardless of how hectic or busy your schedule is each day. By getting enough sleep each night, provide your body and mind the rest it requires for optimal performance at all times.

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