Let sleeping be your superpower!

Speed-course about why sleep more than work more

You tend to save time on sleeping because other things seem more interesting to you? Sometimes you feel sleeping holds you back from being productive enough? You’ve got used to sleeping less and unwell for a long time? Then you also do not really understand some of the most basic roles of sleeping. Be careful, shocking content is coming!

Many studies, articles (eg.: here, here and here) and videos (like this and this) discuss the connection between sleep and work and sleep and productivity. Please read further for a short excerpt from these summing up why the amount and quality of our good night sleep plays a way more significant role with respect to our work (for one) than we could imagine. 

It is almost shocking what research shows, re: how highly and measurably sleeplessness erodes our work efficiency, increases probability of making mistakes, worsens our reaction time, strategic thinking and decreases our alertness, creativity and innovativity. Without enough sleep, our brain functions slower, just as our reactions, it is harder to focus and pay attention, we become inaccurate, we remember and learn things much harder, our memory has more lapses, our problem solving and decision making skills weaken and multi-tasking is just way harder to maintain. On top of all these, our brain eventually tricks us: we can get so used to being sleepless that we just don’t really feel that it’s there, we just don’t realise that it is the reason of the decline in our performance. Based on some US studies loose several weeks in terms of productivity within a year caused by lack of sleep, while the amount of loss made through that to companies could sum up to USD 1967 per employee. 

Sleeplessness deteriorates not only our cognitive abilities. Studies show that without proper sleep, we cannot control our feelings properly, we tend to be more impulsive, edgy and selfish, we confront others more and overreact, cannot read others well enough, we communicate worse, are less patient, empathetic, satisfied, motivated and cooperative, our moral weakens, working in a team is harder and we cannot motivate others either. We cope with challenges harder, we are more sensitive to control and feel easier to be excluded of the team. So it’s just not fun to work with us (and being around us). And in addition, we gather more stress and anxiety, that – just as a vicious circle – leads to more sleepless nights in the end.

If you are not scared yet, it is good to know that long-term sleeplessness can lead to many serious consequences to our health as well: narcolepsy, depression and anxiety, high blood-pressure, heart and cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer, Parkinsons and stroke. 

One day your boss is the coolest, the next day you just don’t understand if it’s the same person you met the day before? In a position of leadership, it is important to understand how our sleeplessness can affect ourselves, our coworkers and even on the whole company and also that our employees can perform best if they had enough rest. Így This means that the attitude of a leader can either worsen or strengthen the performance of his employees, the team and the company heavily. There are already some companies, where they put high emphasis on the importance of sleep with the help of education, flexible work hours and by creating an environment where people can have some rest even during work if needed. 

But what can we do individually? 

Professionals usually recommend 7-8 hours of sleep a day but our needs can definitely vary. With the help of yoga for example, we could manage with much less sleep (yogis sometimes sleep just around 4 hours); or by improving our quality of life, our need of sleep could decrease. Until this remains unreachable in theory or practice, the articles in the above links can provide many (!) very useful tips how to improve reasonably the quantity and quality of our sleep without sleeping pills even in our busy lives. Key is to look for the very reason of our sleeplessness before turning to sleeping pills, expensive stuff or other tecnical stuff for a miracle. Just ensure sleeping an important role in our lives, because while it can be the cause of our insufficient performance in work (and other fields), it provides us huge potential in terms of our physical and mental health, emotional balance, our everyday connections and productivity.  So sleeping is not unwanted problem or just another task to be checked off, but a miracle cure that is free on top of all. And if we just couldn’t sleep enough overnight, it’s proved fact that a short (!) nap, relaxation, meditation or yoga nidra can always  energize us (like the 20th coffee cannot) and improve our productivity. 

We’ve been discussing this topic just recently in KAPTÁR with Szilvi Wolberger, and I just love her opinion, that the monitoring of our sleep and productivity is a life-long personal experiment. There’s no recipe, we need to understand ourselves better and better and learn what works best for us. Many of us need some sort of a creative inspiration and positive tension for our work which state sometimes can only be reached in hours or even half a day till we can really focus. Sometimes this creative state of mind arrives during the evening and then productive work lasts till dawn, so we should not expect to start a productive workday the next morning just as we slept the whole night through.  We should cherish productive work but should also take the time and have proper rest in the following days. 

And if you work in KAPTÁR and get very-very sleepy at a point or just a bit tired and fussy during your day, just keep in mind that even a short rest will make you feel better. Check out the facilities we have created for you to be able to relax a bit: a nap in the “birdnest” in KAPTÁR Happening or on the mattresses on top of the glass-wall meeting rooms – it’s not a naff but rather very rational, responsible and refreshing thing. Work will go smoother and you’ll be much more fun to be around as well. So get some good rest when you need it! 🙂

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