How Sleeping Unleashes Your Productivity Superpower


'Sleep' is defined as "the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored."

'Productivity' is defined as "yielding results, benefits, or profits."

We're interested in both these topics, so we decided to explore their relationship. (They do have one. Check out what we learned below--caution, it's a bit scary.)

Sleep, its connection to productivity, and what happens when you don't get enough.

Maybe you think your productivity levels are great. Maybe you have no rational idea what about  your productivity (in that case perhaps you should be reading articles on how to gauge your production levels before you read this).  

Anyway you choose to look at it, a factor which plays a key role in productivity is your sleep (the duration and quality thereof).

The most interesting and comprehensive source we found was a Clinical Review(2). The authors examined and critiqued 30 sleep-productivity studies,

Their end analysis was presented as follows:

"A reasonable conclusion to draw from the present review, therefore, is that insomnia-type sleep disturbances, assessed at symptom, syndrome and diagnostic levels, are consistently associated with reduced safety and productivity in the workplace, increased levels of sickness absence from the workplace, and impeded career progression and reduced job satisfaction among individual workers(2)."

Lazy version:

Sleep disturbances are consistently associated with reduced safety and productivity in the workplace. 

"Insomnia-type sleep disturbances," covers a range of sleep disturbances described within from insomnia itself to "insomnia symptoms," to "inadequate sleep," to "poor sleepers"

So, sleep disturbances are associated with the following:

  • Excess absenteeism

  • elevated accident risk

  • reduced productivity

  • inhibited career progression

  • lower job satisfaction

Bottom line, sleep and productivity are partners.

Like personal relationships, if you abuse them, someone suffers. Abusing your sleep causes your production levels to suffer.

I also found a table from the Review to be very informative, and have included it below (it lays out the studies, their type, and the results).

"There are still many mysteries about sleep. However, sleep researchers have determined that lack of adequate sleep hurts your performance and mood."

Generally we don't support exploitation, but we're going to look at how you can take advantage of that relationship and briefly examine a few issues related to proper sleep.

Here's three things you can do to improve your sleep patterns.

1. Consistency & 3GS.

Kinda' sounds like an old version of the I-phone. 3S: Set. Sleeping. Schedule.

You've heard it a million times, but having a set sleeping schedule is important to your overall sleep function.

Maybe the curfew your parents gave you wasn't just to keep you out of trouble...Yeah. we really just went there.

2. Stop messing up your circadian rhythms. 

The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep has this to say about the topic:

"Keeping a regular sleep schedule—even on weekends—maintains the timing of the body's internal clock and can help you fall asleep and wake up more easily."

3. Don't go towards the light.

We're pretty sure that colloquial phrase was intended for the time we live in now, when electronic devices seem to be everywhere. 

Using electronic devices before or around your bedtime affects your sleep. Specifically, the blue lights emitted from electronics. An excerpt from the Washington Post says,

"Blue light is especially good at preventing the release of melatonin, a hormone associated with nighttime. . . .  light — particularly of the blue variety — can keep the pineal gland from releasing melatonin, thus warding off sleepiness (5)."

So please do yourselves a favor and GET SOME SLEEP! (And be more productive as a result.)


1) Merriam-Webster dictionary

2) Erica R. Kucharczyk, Kevin Morgan, and Andrew P. Hall. The occupational impact of sleep quality and insomnia symptoms





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