Work, home, financial concerns, and parenting responsibilities are already tough enough to juggle. Working from home or as an essential worker while under social distancing and stay at home orders simply add to your existing stress levels. For working parents, school closures and remote learning can be the tipping point.
When everything is uncertain and chaotic, and routines are upended, the first thing to give way is often sleep. Like many people, you’re probably working longer hours and sleeping less, which can have an adverse effect on job performance and mood. Here’s how to keep your work performance productive, and stay in better health.
- Get a full 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Limit screen time two hours before bed.
- Take a 20-30 minute power nap.
- Take regular breaks each day.
- Have some caffeine, but not too late in the day.
The Effects Lack of Sleep Has on the Brain
Sleep is one of the most important functions of our bodies. Too many of us already don’t get enough sleep due to excess screen time and poor sleep habits. Unsurprisingly, the people hit the hardest by lack of sleep are those who usually work extended or irregular hours (more than 50 hours per week), shift workers, or have multiple jobs. Right now, that’s most of us! In today’s volatile economy and pandemic situation, nobody can afford to be off their game. Even losing a few hours each week will stack up over time, eventually having a negative impact on our daily functioning, work productivity, and our overall health. Lack of sleep:
- Reduces creativity, focus, and executive thinking skills
- Slows cognitive abilities and lower retention of new information
- Raises risk for minor and major illnesses
- Impacts mood, causing irritability or mood swings
- Increases chances for making mistakes or burnout
The Long Term Effects of Lack of Sleep
Sleep has many restorative benefits, so chronic sleep deprivation (consistently getting less than 7-9 hours per night for adults), can impact your mental and physical health. If you continue to push through without getting enough rest, eventually stress, exhaustion, and sleep deprivation form a deadly cocktail. Combined, they can lead to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Your general health could plummet, your immune system could take a hit, and your risk potential for chronic health conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease can go up substantially. Your work performance will also suffer, putting you at risk for burnout – it could even jeopardize your job!
If you continue to have trouble sleeping or suffer from insomnia, consider speaking to a qualified Sleep Therapist. You may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder.
[Disclaimer]*This post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.