If you find yourself hogging the coffee machine at work, or thinking about being in bed when your boss mentions “thinking outside the box”, then the chances are that you’re not getting enough sleep at night—and that can have a real long-run problem for your work productivity. Just a few extra hours rest a night would make a boost to our productivity at work (and elsewhere in life). Really, this isn’t a decision that needs us to “sleep on it”: it’s time to claim back our bedtimes.
Sleepless Nights are a Billion Pound Problem
You’re not alone. In our increasingly “always available” culture, the UK is a nation of under-sleepers, and it’s having an underachiever effect on our economy, with a loss of £40 billion a year. Ouch. Worse still, it’s only set to rise, with an estimated £47 billion in losses expected by 2030 if we continue down this sleep-deprived route. In fact, according to the Financial Times, the UK’s productivity growth is experiencing its weakest decade since the 1820s—and we know those workers didn’t have to deal with late-night emails and anxiety about that Powerpoint presentation. While the financial gains for the economy are clearly a benefit (one study showed better worker sleep would result in an added £24 billion to the UK), the boost to your personal and professional life from a better sleep at night is something that we think should be taken seriously—and we know it starts with the right mattress to fall asleep on.
You're Probably Not a Short Sleeper so Get More Rest
Science shows that just one percent of the global population are natural short-sleepers, which means while your CEO might boast about how she survives on just four hours sleep a night, she’s likely heading for a burnout on her work calendar. While reaching for your fourth cup of coffee might seem like the only way to make it through that deadline, the reality is that if you’ve had less than six hours sleep the night before, then you’re going to be 2.4 percent less productive than your annoyingly chipper caffeine-free colleague who got seven to nine hours rest according to a recent study. Sleep deprivation affects work productivity in two different ways: absenteeism and presenteeism. Absenteeism means you’ve had to call in sick to work because you’ve caught yet another cold—easily done when your immune system is weakened by a lack of sleep. Our bodies work hard at night to repair and recover—and if you’re not getting your rest, then you’re going to feel less than refreshed, inside and out. Presenteeism means you’ve managed to drag yourself into the office, but you’re yawning into your coffee cup and not able to reach your full working potential due to tiredness. Our reaction times slow; we suffer memory problems; our concentration weens and our mood deteriorates—we’ve all experienced that irritability when we’ve not slept well: now you know why your colleagues might avoid you in the break-room. There are lots of causes for tiredness, of course, but our nationwide attitude to a professional/personal life balance means many of us face unrealistic deadlines, long commutes, and take our workloads home with us. We lose sleep due to work demands, unfinished to-do lists, and too many emails in our inbox, which many of us are guilty of checking late at night: we all know that the blue light emitted from electronic devices is less than ideal for helping us fall to sleep.
Set Boundaries, Exercise More, and Take a Break!
The good news is that there are some simple solutions to help boost your work productivity. Set yourself a strict cut-off time when you walk through the front door: no emails, no work calls, no demands. Enjoy a little light exercise—what better way to shake off those deadlines than with some fresh air? If you’re desk-bound most of the day, be sure to take regular breaks, including stepping away from your computer for lunch. Instilling positive pauses in your work schedule by day can help make it easier to get into the habit of a healthy wind-down routine as you prepare to head to bed. Remember to switch off your phone (yes, really!), and invest in an alarm clock instead—that way you’ll be less tempted to start scrolling when you roll over to “check the time”. Set yourself a regular bedtime—just as you have a set amount of time to finish off that proposal, you need a set amount of time to mentally and physically rest at night. Need more? Here are five more helpful tips to get the sleep you need.
And make sure you’re getting your best sleep on the right mattress and pillows. With a Nectar foam mattress, you can build a strong foundation for a great night’s sleep knowing you’re provided optimum comfort and support. There’s no better way to wake feeling motivated, knowing you can lead that team meeting, boost staff morale, and impress your boss with your productivity and positivity.