Is a lack of sleep affecting your productivity at work?



Ready to spring forward? Daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. Sunday, when it magically becomes 3 a.m., and while you may be losing an hour of sleep, springing forward can help reset your sleep schedule. Apart from making sure to set your alarms correctly, you can use daylight saving to reboot sleeping habits.

Why is this important? According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 1 in 4 workers (26 percent) feel they do not get enough sleep each night. While eight hours may be the doctor-recommended amount of sleep time each night, less than 1 in 5 workers (17 percent) say they actually reach this goal. Half of workers (52 percent) log an average of five to seven hours of sleep each night, while 6 percent average less than five hours per night.

Sleep-deprivation doesn't just hurt workers – it hurts business, too. Sixty percent of all workers say that a lack of sleep has negatively impacted their work in a variety of ways, including:

  • It makes me less motivated: 27 percent
  • It makes me less productive: 25 percent
  • It affects my memory: 19 percent
  • It takes me longer to complete tasks: 13 percent

Ironically, nearly half of all workers (47 percent) say thinking about work keeps them up at night.

Five strange work dreams

When asked the craziest work dream they've had, respondents said the following:

  • I showed up to work three hours late, and I was only half dressed. That was OK though, because we have a relaxed dress code. The problem was I had not realized the Queen of England was visiting, and I felt embarrassed.
  • I work with software. While I was pregnant, I had a dream that I had to upload my unborn baby at the end of every day, or she'd lose her development for the day.
  • My boss adopted me and my co-workers. He got us housing and took us shopping.
  • Famous people worked with me in place of my co-workers.
  • I drove the forklift home from work.

Five things you can do for better sleep
Although you might not be able to control all of the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple sleep tips:

Avoid consuming drinks or food with caffeine before bedtime: Abstain from caffeine for at least five to six hours before you plan to sleep.

  • Practice relaxation: When you're anxious about being unable to sleep, your body produces stress hormones that make it harder to let go of that anxiety.
  • Hide your clock: Constantly checking the time only increases your stress, making it harder to turn down the dial on your nervous system and fall asleep.
  • Learn to recognize stress: Recognize symptoms like an elevated heart rate, muscle tension, and rapid breathing, and then focusing on bringing those stress symptoms back to a normal level.
  • Get all your worrying over with before you go to bed: If you find you lay in bed thinking about tomorrow, consider setting aside a period of time — perhaps after dinner — to review the day and to make plans for the next day.

Tweet at @CareerBuilder: What's the most absurd work dream you've had?