When under the gun, many professionals exchange longer hours at the office for a shorter time getting restful sleep. While the occasional push likely won’t hurt you in the long run, making it a habit is almost guaranteed to backfire. This means, even if you are spending more time on the job, you aren’t necessarily getting anything additional done than you would have by maintaining a regular schedule.
It turns out that an inconsistent sleep schedule is one of the most damaging things you can do to yourself, especially when being productive is a priority. Here’s what you need to know about how your sleep patterns affect your ability to churn out quality work.
When it to managing your circadian rhythm, almost nothing is more important than melatonin. This naturally occurring chemical helps determine when you fall asleep as well as when you wake in the morning. People who sleep on a regular schedule are more likely to have melatonin on their side, allowing them to fall asleep with greater ease.
Those who keep an irregular schedule, such as not going to bed at the same time every night or waking at the same time every morning, can experience a stunning three-hour delay in their melatonin release. This shifts their circadian rhythm, functionally making an 8:00 am meeting feel like it is happening at 5:00 am.
What the Shift Means for You
If you don’t follow a regular sleep pattern and don’t have the luxury of sleeping in or maintaining a slightly skewed schedule, then you’re going to be attempting tasks when your body and mind aren’t primed for the work. Using the above meeting example, you would be required to maintain focus at a time where your performance is suffering. This is because most people aren’t at their most productive at the equivalent of 5:00 am.
To make matters worse, you may struggle to achieve wakefulness when you need it. This could lead to sleeping through alarms, missing appointments, or even falling asleep on the job. In the end, none of those things are going to help you be productive in the office.
Even if you are able to make it out of bed, you’ll suffer many consequences from a lack of quality sleep. Decision-making ability will be impaired, making it harder to properly assess and respond to situations as they arise, and increasing the likelihood of ill-considered actions and mistakes on your part. You may also find it challenging to learn new skills, hindering growth and limiting your ability to take advantage of production-improving advancements. Reaction times also generally decrease, and your emotional and mental well-being can suffer.
Overall, getting quality sleep is more likely to make you productive than extra hours at the office can, especially over the long-term. Give yourself the best chance at a quality sleep experience by making it a priority and relaxing in the hour before your scheduled bedtime. Then, you can truly be at your best when it matters most.
If you are interested in finding a new position that allows you to better maintain a proper sleep schedule, the recruiters at The Armada Group can help you locate suitable options. Contact us to discuss your priorities today.