Are you an early riser? A self-proclaimed morning bird, energised and ready to conquer the day. Or are you one of those night owls? Either way, it all comes down to your sleeping patterns.
There is a misconception that you have to sacrifice your sleep in order to succeed. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not true! Sleep should definitely not be sacrificed and instead should be prioritised. As employees it is definitely our responsibility to ensure we have a good night’s sleep.
Sleep isn’t optional, it’s a necessity! Throughout generations our biological needs have not changed, however our behaviours and lifestyles have. This is mainly due to the rigorous demands of our time, which ultimately causes sleep deprivation…something that is deeply rooted into our culture.
Last year, Arianna Huffington shared the big idea that she thinks would define 2016 - and yes you guessed right…its sleep! On December 16 Huffington wrote in her blog post: “How much and how well we sleep in the coming year and the years to follow will determine, in no small measure, our ability to address and solve the problems we’re facing as individuals and as a society.”
As we awaken our perception to the importance of sleep, scientists continue to research the mechanics and the necessity of having a good night’s rest for our overall health, physiological well-being, emotional intelligence, productivity, mindfulness, cognitive functions and so forth:
Lack of sleep over a few days can cause many consequences, including:
Declining cognitive performance
Impaired attention and decision-making
Slow reaction time
Poor memory consolidation
Consequences of consistent/chronic poor sleep:
Adverse impact of learning and memory
Weakens immune system
Creates symptoms of ADHD
Did you know that there’s a neurotransmitter in our brains called Orexin and it regulates wakefulness? It literally keeps us awake when we need to be. Spikes in glucose levels from meals with lots of carbs (rice, bread and anything sugar too) actually inhibits the production of orexin in the brain, leaving us lethargic and drowsy. This can add onto our responsibility as employees to have a healthier lifestyle, in order to function as productively as possible, especially when we have lunch breaks in our day.