Sleep and Work – Napping

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Sleep deprivation and work

For many people, days just don’t seem long enough. In order to cram everything into one 24-hour period, something has to give. Parents of babies and toddlers make up a large proportion of Irelands’ workforce and apart from the lucky few, most suffer from some level of sleep deprivation. The average commute time has increased, as people travel further afield in search of employment. As a result the working day is getting longer and taking work home at the end of the day has become commonplace. It’s not only night shift workers who find it hard to stay awake on the job.

Reports claim that sleep deprivation can have the same effect as being under the influence of alcohol and yet whilst an employer would dismiss someone who arrived for work drunk, the same cannot be said for a staff member who didn’t have a full night sleep.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) of Ireland Chief Executive Noel Brett has said;

“scientific studies prove that driver fatigue is as dangerous as driving when over the drink drive limit and warned recently that one of five driver deaths in Ireland were as a result of driver fatigue, when a motorist begins to nod off behind of the wheel of a vehicle”

Did you know?As a general rule, when a person has remained awake for extended periods of time, the ability to perform relatively basic mathematic problem solving and memory skills will diminish by over 20%.

How sleep deprivation affects our performance:

  • Difficulty with concentration and completion of tasks
  • Alertness and decision-making skills impaired
  • Loss of motivation
  • Attention to detail
  • Poor judgement
  • Lack of Creativity
  • Lapses in memory
  • Mood changes
  • Nodding off at meetings or while driving

What the experts say;“Studies show that habitually getting inadequate sleep, less than seven or eight hours of sleep each night, creates long-lasting changes to one’s ability to think and function well during the day,” “These negative effects can accrue slowly over weeks, months, and even years of inadequate sleep habits and cannot simply be reversed by a few nights of good sleep”. Thomas J. Balkin, PhD.

In Short: We all lead very busy lives and often its our sleep patterns that suffer. But what are the risks of going into work sleep deprived?

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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