“An object at rest tends to stay at rest. An object at motion tends to stay at motion.” The First Law of Motion by Isaac Newton points indirectly at the need for a balanced lifestyle and a consistent sleep schedule to increase personal productivity in the workplace. Working hard is not the only factor which increases productivity. Adequate sleep is equally important.
Most office jobs require employees to sit down for eight hours to do work. Whether an employee is working on the computer, conducting meetings, filling out paperwork or talking on the phones, sitting down has become a staple in the workforce. On top of that, other daily activities such as driving back and forth to work, watching TV and eating meals call for people to sit down consistently. Some people spend as much as 80 percent of their waking hours seated.
This kind of enforced sedentary lifestyle often results in health issues. The National Institutes of Health points out several issues that arise from what it calls "problem sleepiness," which is sleepiness at times when it is normal to be awake. Problem sleepiness often results in difficulty concentrating, fatigue, emotional instability, lethargy, loss of energy and lapses in memory. In addition, it can play a factor in problems with serious consequences, such as workplace accidents and drowsy driving. These factors all have a negative effect of workplace productivity.
One of the key causes of problem sleepiness is the lack of an adequate or consistent sleep schedule during normal sleeping hours. Loss of sleep has a deleterious effect on the ability of employees to concentrate, as well as on their decision-making skills, memory and reaction time.
A consistent sleep schedule is key to avoiding problem sleepiness and increasing productivity at work. Here are some tips to help you achieve a more consistent sleep schedule:
- Try to get your sleeping space as dark as possible. Use heavy curtains or even a sleep mask to cue your brain in to the fact that it's time to sleep.
- Before you go to sleep, avoid all distractions that will get your mind thinking rather than relaxing. In particular, avoid looking at screens (television, computer, phone) before you go to bed to give your brain a chance to disconnect from the day's activities.
- Consider working out briefly before you go to sleep. A little extra activity and a warm shower can help adjust to keeping a consistent sleep schedule.
- Avoid late-night snacks or meals. Especially avoid sugar and caffeine, which give your body a chemical boost that tells it to keep going.
- Keep away from the snooze button in the morning. If your brain knows that it has to get up when the alarm goes off, it will be less sluggish when the alarm actually rings. If you have to break your addiction to the snooze button, consider setting your alarm clock across the room so you are forced to get out of bed when it rings.
There is a direct correlation between a consistent sleep schedule and increased productivity. Promoting the habit of keeping a consistent sleep schedule results in increased productivity and efficiency. Start your work day right by making sure you get enough sleep the night before the alarm rights.
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