This is exactly how much sleep you can miss out on before it ruins your productivity at work

By Rhona Shennan
Thursday, 25 April, 2019, 08:46
The light from screens interferes with your sleep (Photo: Shutterstock)

It might be tempting to watch Netflix until the wee hours, but staying up late could be ruining your work schedule and hampering your productivity.

New research conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida suggests that losing out on even 16 minutes of sleep can be enough to negatively affect your performance at work the next day.

What did the study say?

The study revealed that employees were more likely to have poorer judgement and a harder time focusing on work following a bad night of sleep.

The sleep schedules of 130 people working in Information Technology were surveyed and the data reported that when they slept 16 minutes less than what they were used to, they experienced more cognitive issues the following day.

The study reported that as employees felt their work performance was poor, this caused stress levels to rise, which can have a separate negative impact on the body and its performance.

What does that mean?

Raised stress levels can cause headaches, depression and even chest pain.

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It’s not just your focus and performance that can be messed with due to the missed minutes of sleep - serious health problems can be caused by sleep deprivation.You’ll also be at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity, according to the NHS website.

How to get a better night’s sleep

The key to getting a better night’s sleep is within your power.

It is important to avoid screens before bedtime. The light from our devices actively engages our brains and stops us from being able to wind down for the night. Opt for something relaxing instead, such as reading a book.

You can also create a better environment for sleeping. Make sure your bedroom is at its most effective for sleeping - this means maybe investing in some blackout blinds to keep out the light and having a good mattress.

The secret to getting quality sleep could lie within your diet as well. Eat your way to better sleep with oats, rice or chamomile tea - that late night kebab or cheesy chips will only irritate your stomach and keep you awake at night.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, The Scotsman