We’ve all been taught that hard work pays off, but at what cost? Studies show that workaholics who consistently burn the midnight oil might actually be hurting their careers in the long run due to sleep deprivation. We’ll take a look at how getting more zzz’s can enhance your mood and well-being, and, more importantly, your career potential.
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A recent Inc article entitled “Attention Workaholics: All-Nighters Aren’t Good for Your Brain” highlighted a Swedish sleep study involving 15 participants who were examined after two separate sleep experiments – one involved a full eight hours of sleep throughout the night, and the other involved complete sleep deprivation. The study found that the night that the participants weren’t allowed to sleep (they played board games and watched movies), their brains showed to have a “20 percent increase in concentrations of proteins that are often produced after brain injuries, including concussions.”
“Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression,” reports the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are some short-term consequences of sleep deprivation that affect “judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury,” according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. With that said, maybe your discontentment with your job has less to do with your actual work, and more to do with the fact that you’ve been neglecting your zzz’s.
What’s more, the National Institute of Health urges, “Sleep is a required activity, not an option,” and it “actually appears to be required for survival. Rats deprived of sleep will die within two to three weeks, a time frame similar to death due to starvation.” As it turns out, sleep deprivation doesn’t just result in being groggy in the morning, it can lead to serious health issues, including death. You might want to re-think that an all-nighter, people. It might not be worth it … at all.
If you’re looking to get more beauty rest, then consider the following 10 sleep tips from The National Sleep Foundation:
1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
2. Implement a bedtime ritual.
3. Avoid naps.
4. Exercise daily.
5. Create a sleep environment that is “cool, quiet, dark, comfortable and free of interruptions.”
6. Get a comfortable mattress and pillow.
7. Avoid bright light in the evenings but expose yourself to it in the mornings.
8. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and big meals at night.
9. An hour before bed, take time to wind down and do something calming.
10. If you can’t sleep, change your environment (another room) and do something relaxing.
Rest assured that a good night’s sleeps may be all that you need to kickstart your 2014.
Tell Us What You Think
Is burning the midnight oil negatively affecting your life and career? Try getting a few days of ample sleep and see if that helps your mood and outlook. Share your before and after experience with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.