True or really true? Better sleep helps us live and work better.
I don’t think it will be longer until we include aspects of lifestyle screening in recruiting practices. We already have personality assessments, and our lifestyle can impact our personality – just think of how you feel after three nights of inadequate sleep. You wake up feeling groggy, moody, irritable, and that list goes on right?
Dr. Christopher Barns, a researcher at Washington University, discovered that if you sleep less than 6 hours, you’re more likely to do terrible things on the job like fake receipts and reimbursement claims and lie to get incentives. Professional ethical behavior is a no-brainer characteristic of a hire worthy job candidate. So with that being the case hiring managers and recruiters should definitely be asking about sleep habits in interviews. Actually, Arianna Huffington founder of Thrive Global even believes that we should be listing our sleep habits on our résumés. So who’s heading over to their LinkedIn summary or skill section to add something new to their electronic résumé?
Five things you’ll probably find yourself doing if you’re sleep deprived:
1. Social loafing
This concept means that we put less effort in a group task rather than when working alone. If were sleep deprived the last thing we have is energy, whether that means physical, emotional, or mental strength. Depending on others to do our job and opting for the easier way out can cause us to be disliked and have interpersonal problems with co-workers. On top of the loafing Barns has discovered that not getting enough sleep causes us to be more likely to blame others for our mistakes and lie and take the credit for something we haven’t done.
2. Lacking self-control and being a bit abusive
In the book ‘Why We Sleep’ neuroscientist Matthew Walker mentioned a study that showed when a supervisor doesn’t sleep well they have less self-control and are more abusive in their behavior the following day. Why is that so? Well, a lack of sleep affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which controls innovation, self-control, and creativity. Plus, stress hormones are difficult to regulate when we’re not sleeping enough. So now you know, you can add the question “did you sleep well last night” to your morning office routine.
3. Forgetting simple things
When we get a good nights sleep out muscle tissues grow and experience recovery, our body’s metabolism regulates, and our brain is energized. Forgetfulness is a common sign of not enough sleep, and a foggy brain can’t communicate well. More than 85% of corporate executives, employees, and educators blame ineffective communications as a primary reason for failures in the workplace. Effective communication is a key performance indicator.
4. Can’t seem to think outside of the box
Neuroscientists link sleep with innovation, and being deprived of it is associated with impaired mental ability. In fact, a 1999 study proved that just one day of poor sleep affects innovative thinking and flexible decision-making. If your performance shows that you lack impact and creativity, do things that have proved to boost creative thinking. Learn about something out of your comfort zone, try to eat healthier, and surround yourself with creative and resourceful thinkers. Sometimes this is easier said then done right, but change begins with a step.
5. Taking more time then you’d like to complete easy tasks
The more sleep-deprived you are, the slower you become at getting tasks done at work, according to a 2012 Journal of Vision study. And because it’s taking you more time to get stuff done, you’re working more. Plus Reuters reported that according to researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital the accuracy and speed on a computer-based task decreased the longer study participants were awake. And because it’s taking you longer to get stuff done, you’re working more and become burnt out. The thing about that is: when we're not functioning optimally the body eventually becomes used to it, and it becomes ”normal.” We won't really know how even more amazing our work performance will be until we habitually get the recommended 8 hours of sleep every night.
Ready to get to the next level in your career and job performance? Start with prioritizing your sleep.
Rachel Montanez is a career coach and career development speaker. Check out her website here and connect on LinkedIn here.