Some employees take pride in their sleep-deprived nights believing that they are more productive when they spend less time resting. Many boardrooms and college campuses even promote the idea of sleep as time wasted. However, sleep actually propels your success in many ways. From physical to mental, sleep plays an important role in how you think, act, feel and perform.
Think the secret to success is never snoozing? Well, think again! Here are four ways that sleep can help you be more successful.
You are more receptive to learning
One of the most important aspects of success is to constantly be growing and learning new things. According to the Harvard Division of Sleep Medicine, sleep deprivation reduces attention and motivation, which makes it harder to acquire new information. Sleep also plays a major role in the consolidation of new memories, enabling you to recall that information later on.
Research shows that REM and slow wave sleep are both important for procedural memory (how to) and declarative memory (facts). The biggest effects when trying to learn or recall information in sleep and learning studies could be seen when sleep deprived as opposed to learning and then being deprived of sleep.
Your creativity is enhanced
For many, creativity is an important part of success. While some believe they are most creative in a sleep-deprived state, it’s been proven that your brain’s agility and the ability to form complex and new solutions to a problem is reduced by fatigue and drowsiness.
A Harvard study revealed that although participants didn’t necessarily feel more creative, their ability to make connections between distantly related ideas increased by 33 percent. Another study by the University of California found that people’s creative problem-solving skills were enhanced by REM sleep over non-REM sleep and quiet resting.
Your likelihood of errors is reduced
According to most sleep studies, when you’re sleep deprived your reaction time, decision-making capabilities, and memory are all impaired. Together, these factors make you more likely to make mistakes. This can mean critical errors or even real danger on the job.
Medical professional studies have found that medical residents who work 24-hour shifts make 36% more serious errors than those who work 16 hours shifts. Studies also revealed that nurses who would more than 12.5 consecutive hours are 2-3 times more likely to make errors.
Whether you’re pursuing a high-risk profession with people’s lives on the line or not, errors can still cost plenty of time, money, and headache.
You are more productive and efficient
When you get the amount of sleep that your body needs your attention span is optimized, your motivation and mood are stronger, you’re able to learn and retain facts better, and you’re more creative. On top of that, you’re also less likely to make errors on the job, get in an accident, or get sick. This helps maintain a healthy work life balance as you’ll be bringing less work home.
All of these combined show that getting a good night’s sleep helps you be the best version of you – ready to cross off goals, create and learn, develop solutions, and make complex decisions.
If you’re striving to be more effective and successful in your career, don’t forget to make sleep a priority to give yourself the upper hand. Even just one extra hour of sleep each night can make a difference!