We all know how vital a good night’s rest is to vibrant health, better moods, and doing well at work, but there’s no doubt that many of us struggle to balance our sleeping routines with the demands of life. If you’re hitting the snooze button a half dozen times each morning and struggling to make it out the door every day, there’s a good chance that you need more rest at night. And the impact of too-little sleep doesn’t stop there — there are certain subtle work habits that could be a sign that you’re sleep deprived, even if you think of yourself as being high-functioning.
According to Prevention, the effects of sleep deprivation can permeate our entire lives, and we can develop some less-than-desirable habits or behaviors as a result of not getting enough sleep at night. And if we’re chronically sleep deprived, the long-term impact on our health can be severe. For that reason, it’s worth examining our priorities and routines when we don’t get enough shut-eye on an ongoing basis, and make a few adjustments for the sake of our health. If any of the following habits sound like you, it’s probably time to take a look at your sleeping routine, and prioritize getting more sleep at night.
1You Fall Behind On Your To Do List
According to Medical News Today, sleep deprivation disrupts our normal functioning, and can negatively effect our attention spans and ability to focus. It can be tough to stay on top of daily tasks when we're chronically sleep deprived, so getting enough sleep at night is key to optimal performance at work the next day.
2You Forget Appointments Or Deadlines
WebMD reports that not only is getting enough sleep at night important for adequate overall physical recovery, it's key to keeping our brains sharp too. Our ability to learn new information while keeping our memories keen and on point hinges on getting plenty of nightly zzz's.
3You Guzzle Caffeine
Having a cup of coffee in the morning to up your energy and start the day isn't necessarily a problem, but if you lean super heavily on caffeine in order to function, or if you notice a dramatic spike in your coffee intake, you may need more sleep at night. Guzzling lots of coffee throughout the day, especially after 4 p.m., can also disrupt your ability to fall asleep at bedtime, so if you're sleep-deprived because you can't fall asleep, take note.
4You Daydream. A Lot.
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a wandering mind and lack of overall focus, which might compromise your work performance. LiveScience reports that sleep deprivation can impair "selective focus," or the ability to focus on one thing when other distractions are present. Since focused attention at work is a pretty much non-negotiable thing, it's all the more reason to turn in on time each night for sure.
5You're Chronically Late
Oversleeping happens to everyone from time to time, but when it happens regularly and affects your ability to get to work on time, there is most likely an issue with your sleep schedule at play. According to Inc., 15 to 20 percent of the American workforce is late to work on a regular basis, with sleep deprivation being a top culprit for said tardiness. If you're finding it difficult to get out the door on time each day, trying going to bed earlier at night.
6You're Cranky With Coworkers
According to Psychology Today, just one sleepless night can mean major irritability the following day. If you're short with co-workers, or even your boss, on the reg, that's not great for group morale, or your job security. So make sure to get enough rest each night to help balance your moods, and soothe that crankiness, before work the next day.
7You Lose Your Train Of Thought In Important Moments
Sometimes, being put in a high-pressure situation — such as having a one-to-one with your boss, or giving a presentation to your entire department — can inspire jitters that make it hard to focus. But if you're normally someone who naturally leads your team, and you find yourself stumbling over your well-rehearsed meeting notes, it could be a sign you're not getting enough sleep. Like being unable to focus on a given task, being unable to stay on track when you're voicing your opinion in meetings or other situations could mean your shut eye isn't as prime as it could be.
8You're Nodding Off In Subtle Ways
It's pretty much a no-brainer that if you're struggling to stay awake during the work day, or if you doze off during breaks, you probably need more sleep. Scientific American reports that being awake and being asleep are not "an all-or-nothing phenomenon," and especially for the chronically sleep deprived. Microsleeping — those moments when we nod off while still partially awake — is not something your boss wants to see you do at your next company meeting, so make sure to prioritize your rest as best you can, in order to bring your A-game to work every day.
The good news is that, while you may be in a stubborn cycle of sleep deprivation, this is something you can totally recover from. Getting regular quality sleep is fundamental to good health and sharp mental functioning, and while it can be all-too-tempting to fall down the Netflix-binge rabbit hole as the day comes to a close, remember that getting great shut-eye every night is super important. So throw on your jammies, get cozy, and get to sleeping, y'all.