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Is Sleep Deprivation Endangering Your Job?


Every Friday afternoon, colleagues across the country gather together for happy hour, ready to forget about the week with a drink. While most of these people likely won’t return to their desk until Monday, what would happen if they had to go back to work afterward — and their bosses expected their work to be just as coherent and clear as if it was Monday morning at 10 a.m.? It turns out, not getting enough sleep is almost as bad for work performance as imbibing.

(Photo Credit: indi/Flickr)

According to Fatigue Science, a lack of sleep could impact your brain the same way as a blood alcohol level of 0.08. This essentially means that as tired as you are from only getting four or five hours of sleep, you might as well be drunk. Though this may not sound bad, consider the fact that 40 percent of Americans sleep for six hours or less per night — far less than the recommended eight hours. Not only does this mean that these Americans might as well be drunk at work, they are also could experience compounding side effects such as hallucinations, psychotic breaks, seizure, and death.

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Of course, balancing work and life can make it difficult to get enough sleep. It also doesn’t help that the men and women setting the standards for employees — and especially executives — have claimed to work 130 hours in a week and sleep under desks, as Marissa Mayer has said she’s done.

However, burning the candle at both ends will not only cause you to burn out early, but also likely affect your work and job to the point your effort backfires. Consider whether getting some extra sleep might actually help your career; you might be surprised at how your job performance improves when you aren’t so tired all the time.   

Tell Us What You Think

Do you feel lack like of sleep is endangering your job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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