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10 Ways Sleep Deprivation Could Cost You Your Job
Do you ever catch yourself nodding off at work and think this thought? "No problem, I'll just slam back another latte macchiato with six shots and power through it."
You're not alone, sleepyhead! Two-thirds of Americans say they don't get enough sleep. And 37% of adults say they're so tired it screws with their life on a daily basis. That leads to things like sleeping at work… and drinking too much coffee to avoid sleeping at work!
So, what gives? Maybe you're working too much, or it's too noisy to fall asleep. Or maybe you're staying up too late to watch another episode of The Wire… and another, and another.
There are all kinds of sleep deprivation causes, but the effects are the same. Keep reading to learn about the 10 dangers of sleep deprivation in the workplace. You'll also get some pro tips to help you feel well rested, happier, and more productive at work.
(Oh, and those tips might help you avoid losing your job, too.)
Danger #1 - Bad Communication
Have you ever had trouble explaining something to a coworker? Have you ever asked a question that someone already answered? When you're sleepy, you don't think or talk straight.
Danger #2 - Low Productivity
If you're sleep-deprived, you can't get as much work done. What's more, you might not even realize that sleep deprivation is dragging you down.
Danger #3 - Lack of Focus
Sleep deprivation makes it hard to focus. That's bad enough if your job is writing on a computer all day, but it's even worse if you're, say, a bus driver.
Danger #4 - Dangerous Driving
Almost 20 percent of serious car crash injuries happen because of sleepy drivers. If you're driving sleepy, you're putting yourself and others in harm's way.
Danger #5 - More Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, but you make more when you're sleep-deprived. According to The National Sleep Foundation, sleepy workers are 70% more likely to have accidents on the job.
Danger #6 - Memory Gaps
Sleep deprivation messes with your short-term memory, making it hard to remember things. What happens if you start forgetting stuff related to your job?
Danger #7 - Mood Swings
Lack of sleep changes your mood. It can make you irritated, angry, or impatient. Remember the last time you had to deal with a cranky coworker? Not much fun, right?
Danger #8 - Taking Big Risks
Sleep deprivation can cause risky behavior and poor choices. This is bad in any workplace, but it's especially bad where one rash decision could hurt a lot of people.
Danger #9 - Difficulty Making Changes
It's hard to adjust when you don't get enough sleep. So, if you need to change up your routine, being sleep-deprived will make that more difficult.
Danger #10 - the Downward Spiral
Finally, the effects of sleep deprivation get worse as you keep skipping sleep. Your sleep debt keeps adding up… and dragging you down, down, down.
Hey! Are You Awake Yet? Put Down the Coffee and Wake Up!
Sleep deprivation can cost you your job. If you make too many mistakes, miss too many days, or don't perform well because you're tired, you could be out of work fast.
And it's not only your job that's at risk. Sleep deprivation can also cause high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and heart attacks. Americans spend billions of dollars on sleep deprivation treatments every year!
But it doesn't all have to be doom and gloom. Here are some tips to help you fight fatigue, sleep better, stay healthy, and reach your full potential at work.
Tips for Fighting Fatigue and Winning
- Take 20-minute power naps in the morning and afternoon
- Tackle critical tasks when you're the most alert
- Be aware of your body's sleep cycle
- Avoid medications that make you sleepy
- Eat healthy foods and get exercise
Tips for Sleeping Better Than a Baby Angel
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine
- Try sleeping with a sleep mask and earplugs
- Install blackout curtains in your bedroom
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime
- Avoid coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol close to bedtime
Sleep deprivation can lead to bad decisions, bad moods, sleeping at work, and other dangers. It can cost you your health and your job.
Steer clear of these problems by following the tips above to fight fatigue and sleep better. You'll feel better, do better work, enjoy life way more — and your body and bank account will thank you, too!
Got any ideas for recovering from sleep deprivation and reducing sleepiness in the workplace? Let us know! We'll get back to you right after our power nap! :)
Get more sleep or lose your job? Put down that coffee and read on.