Not getting enough sleep is all too common for many Americans. In fact, the CDC reports that a third of U.S. adults get less than the recommended seven hours per night. They also add that failing to get enough sleep can have some serious long-term health consequences such as depression, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Here are some classic signs you’re not getting enough sleep and how it can affect your work.
Sleep deprivation can take a toll on your emotional health with some of more common symptoms being moodiness and general irritability. “You become over-reactive to emotional stimuli,” writes assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Kelly Baron, PhD.
When this happens, little things that may not normally bother you can really set you off. As a result, you’re more likely to have conflicts with co-workers, customers and managers. Needless to say, this can create a lot of issues at your job and won’t do your career any favors.
Another side effect is your coordination and motor skills being thrown off. You’re more likely to drop items, bump into things and make careless mistakes. While everyone has their off moments, this can become a chronic issue when you’re not getting enough sleep.
Difficulty Making Decisions
Baron also points out, “Sleep deprivation can affect speed and higher-level cognitive processing,” which means it becomes more difficult to digest information and react quickly. In turn, it tends to take more time and effort to make even relatively simple decisions. And this is obviously a problem if you’re in a position that demands a lot of problem-solving or critical thinking.
Going Over Material Again and Again
This is yet another example of what happens when your brain isn’t functioning how it should be. It makes it trickier to grasp instructions, and you may find yourself going over the same material again and again before you’re able to truly “get it.” For instance, you may have to read a sentence in an article twice.
Sleep deprivation is alarmingly common and affects a sizable chunk of the American workforce. If you’re showing any of the signs mentioned here, it’s likely you’re not getting enough sleep, and it’s something you’ll want to address.
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