Is there a link between poor sleep and work performance?

We are constantly reading up and investigating on all things sleep related and whilst we often read much of the same it does show that we are clearly still missing the trick on just how effective a good night’s sleep is to every one of us.

Sleep at work

Research carried out earlier this year by Hult International Business School suggested that improving employees’ poor sleep may not only improve their wellbeing, but will give businesses that competitive edge over others.

Poor sleep can have many negative effects on workers such as social, cognitive, diet and health related yet many businesses put little or no emphasis on the importance of the sleep of their employees. This is what led to the Hult study as they sought to understand how lack of sleep affects working professionals and if the outcomes are related to levels of seniority

The study took in over 1000 professionals from CEO to non managerial roles.

Six hours and 28 minutes was the average sleep reported yet is recommended a healthy adult should sleep between seven and nine hours each night. The surprise was there was little difference in the sleep times of senior managers and non managers. So the result is poor sleep quality is a problem that spans whole organisations.

The most commonly reported cognitive behaviours affected all rely on sustained attention, which is known to be more susceptible to a small reduction in sleep quality. Poor attention spans and length of time to complete tasks are two of the top reported behaviours which in turn means productivity could be at risk where poor sleep is identified. The top five reported behaviours were feeling lethargic, slower reaction times, headaches and heartburn and reduced libido all defendant on job can be seriously dangerous.

The association between health and immense sleep loss is evident in many with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease being well known concerns and as such should be taken very seriously by both individuals and employees.

Will do you and your work colleagues get enough sleep?