3 career benefits to getting enough sleep
1. Better performance
In 2013, consultancy firm PwC ran an experiment on sleep, giving their staff sleep training. Anecdotally, the feedback was positive with Sally Evans, Senior Manager of Diversity, Inclusion and Employee Wellbeing at the firm noting that “Sleep is absolutely crucial to performance. There's a hard-commercial edge to this.”
Zhenya Yuan, a Management and Organisations Doctoral Student at the University of Iowa also believes this is true, explaining that employees who don’t get enough sleep are less engaged, less productive and have an increased risk of getting injured.
There are hard stats to back this up. Stanford University of Medicine found that basketball players at elite-college level were able to improve their on-court performance by increasing their sleep to 10 hours a night for five-to-seven weeks. In the UK, research by Rand Corporation found that the productivity of those that slept over seven hours a night outstripped those on less than five hours.
They’re figures that are hard to argue with.
2. Better wellbeing
Another US-based study found that workers who reported getting more sleep had a higher sense of well-being than those who said they got less sleep.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Guy Meadows, the founder of sleep consultancy Sleep To Perform, noted that attitudes are changing about sleep – with bosses more aware of the potential negative impacts of not getting enough.
He said: "In the past sleeping was referred to as cheating. The tide is changing. You can't get away from the wealth of scientific research showing sleep deprivation is mentally, emotionally and physically damaging.”
3. Better culture
Nancy Rothstein, who consults and lectures on sleep wellness, told the BBC that talking about sleep can change damaging corporate cultures where people aren’t willing to talk openly about the issue of sleep.
She said: “"The culture we've created is not sustainable. Everyone's crying, 'I can't keep this up.'"
Rothstein believes that more Executives will see sleep as an Executive imperative, thus improving company culture.
“If a Senior Executive is sending emails into the small hours, or doing long days, then those lower down the heirachy will feel obliged to follow suit,” she added.