It’s Day 2 of Drive Safely Work Week™ and today we’re backing things up a bit to talk about the importance of sleep.
Day 1: Drowsy, Distracted, or Focused… Your Decisions Drive Your Safety.
First things first. Are you getting enough sleep?
THE SIDE OF POOR SLEEP…
- Increases your appetite, typically to crave sugary foods.
- Weakens your immune system and promotes inflammation.3
- May promote neurodegenerative processes, resulting in a loss of brain tissue.4
- Contributes to the risk of heart disease, strokes and can intensify arthritis and premature aging.
- Increases blood pressure.
- Makes you irritable.
- Often leads to symptoms of depression.
- Contributes to lapses in attention and reduced focus that can result in mistakes and accidents.
THE SIDE OF GOOD SLEEP…
- When you’re sleeping, you’re working, too! The first half of a full night’s sleep replenishes the body and the second half restores the mind—sometimes allowing us to work through problems in our sleep!
- Sleep replenishes your immune system.
- Sleep strengthens the memory of what you learned during the day.
- Sleep helps with weight loss. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. If you are Working at losing weight with diet and exercise, you’ll want to place similar effort on getting good sleep.
- Sleep builds muscle. When you sleep, you recover, and that means you replace, repair and rebuild!
- Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes and better focus.
- Sleep helps your skin recover moisture, while excess water in the body is processed for removal.
- Sleep is pleasurable.
1 in 5 respondents in a survey of 285,000 employees across 185 countries rated their overall sleep as either extremely poor, very poor or poor. An additional 2 in 5 people rated their sleep quality as only average.2
Some people brag that they can power through a day with just a few hours of sleep, but they are disregarding the scientific facts. An adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night and younger people need even more.
Deficits in these areas result in increased workplace accident rates, increased errors and a decrease in productivity.
- Learning and memory
- Decision making
- Analytical thinking
- Problem solving
- The ability to get things done
- Interpersonal Reactions
so how much sleep do you need?
When researchers exposed a group of 153 people to the common cold, those who slept less than 7 hours a night were almost 3 times more likely to catch a cold.5
And it’s free!
“A major consideration, borne out by Harvard research, is the fact that people who lack sleep don’t view sleep as important.”1 The quantity and quality of sleep we get on a regular basis is foundational to strong performance in all things—whether being productive in our jobs, maintaining relationships, solving problems, making good decisions or operating tools or machinery (like a motor vehicle) in a safe manner. When people are sleep deprived, their mental capacities are affected.