A BBC study examining the impact of sleep schedules on volunteers emphasized what many of us already know—more sleep is good for our bodies and brains.
Nevertheless, it never hurts to have another reminder that the magic number of eight hours isn’t just ideal. In several crucial ways, ample sleep is necessary to make us more productive in our work day.
Certainly, we’re all more productive when we arrive to work rested. However, sleep’s positive impact goes much deeper into our daily lives than that.
Find yourself forgetting important details, or do you need to plaster Post-It notes all over your desktop? Your sleep schedule could be to blame, as the BBC report details.
“Deep sleep sounds restful, but during it our brains are actually working hard. One of the main things the brain is doing is moving memories from short-term storage into long-term storage, allowing us more short-term memory space for the next day. If you don't get adequate deep sleep then these memories will be lost.”
Afford yourself adequate time to fall into a deep sleep, and the many bits of new information that come at you every day are more likely to stay on your mind longer.
Sleep is also vital for reducing stress levels, the report finds. You may work in one of the Jobs Rated most stressful jobs. Perhaps you hold a position in one of the least stressful.
Every career has deadlines or criteria to meet that induce stress. Maybe you have a long, traffic-marred daily commute. Either way, each and every one of us deals with stress in our daily lives.
If your eyelids are fluttering at your work space or you’re punching your steering wheel in traffic, another hour of sleep might be the remedy.
“During REM sleep an extraordinary thing happens. One of the stress-related chemicals in the brain, noradrenalin, is switched off. It's the only time, day or night, this happens. It allows us to remain calm while our brains reprocess all the experiences of the day, helping us come to terms with particularly emotional events.”
That’s all well and good, but who can find an extra hour to sleep? With work and domestic responsibilities, many of us already feel there aren’t enough hours in the day.
It doesn’t take much budgeting of your time in our parts of your day to find a little more time to get the necessary amount of sleep.
Program the TV shows you’re staying up an extra half-hour to watch into the DVR to save for the weekend. Try a few different driving routes to work and determine which is quickest. Try preparing your breakfast before you go to sleep so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
There are ways to get some more sleep, and your workday will be all the better for it.