We spend a third of our lives asleep. Most people know that a good night’s sleep is the best way to recover after a hard day.
But sleep is not just critical to recovery, it essential for maintaining cognitive skills such as communicating well, remembering key information and being creative and flexible in thought.
There is also a strong relationship between sleep and physical and mental health and not getting enough sleep has a profound impact on our ability to function. If it develops into a pattern, the cumulative impact is significant.
The impact of lack of sleep
Links between a lack of sleep and high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes are emerging. It also makes us more vulnerable to infection and raises the risk of accident and injury.
There are many reasons why you might get less sleep than the recommended 7 – 9 hours a night. Work-related stress, working anti-social hours, illness and injury, getting older, money worries and personal loss are just a few of the issues that can keep us awake at night.
But how do you know if lack of sleep is affecting you at work?
Common signs include a general deterioration in your performance, poor concentration or poor memory, as well as being in a poor mood and greater risk taking.