At some point in our lives, we’ve all wished we had more hours in a day to get everything done. With never-ending to-do lists, quality time with friends and family, or just some much needed R&R, there never seems to be enough time in the day. The search for productivity explains why a lot of people tend to trade in their sleep time.
But is waking up early for the sake of productivity really a good trade for sleep?
Not only is this a question that is often asked, but it’s also a practice that routinely happens. Millions of people around the world sacrifice their sleep for more hours of being awake. Setting their alarms early, forfeiting the last bit of precious sleep, just to seek out extra time for production sake.
Here is what we know about productivity
Being productive doesn’t exactly mean working more hours or getting up early to fit another task or two. The true definition of productivity is “the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.” Suffering your sleep is not an effective manner of productive effort. In fact, it is the opposite. You’re simply putting in more work for what some people can still get done in the same amount of hours.
We all have the same amount of hours in a day.
And there a lot of successful people that work full days and get a full 8 hours of sleep at night. It’s all about how you spend your hours. If you are investing in your time wisely, your return will be far greater. That means allocating time for everything you want to achieve. You need to be spending more time being productive and not reading trending articles or scrolling through social media. That’s real productivity. If you love connecting with family and friends on social media or reading articles, that’s great. It can be a nice way to relax. But schedule a certain time for it with an allocated amount and stick to it as closely as possible.
Maximize the hours you have, don’t decrease the sleep you get.
Furthermore, lack of sleep actually hinders production as well as performance. Studies have shown that participants needed quality sleep for optimal functioning (source). These are only some of the things that deteriorate with a lack of sleep:
- Impaired attention and decision-making
- Declining cognitive performance
- Shortened lifespan
- The occurrence of ADHD like symptoms
- Slow reaction time
Sadly, some of the world’s biggest disasters in history have occurred because of slow reaction and poor cognitive performance. Sleep deprivation was noted to play a factor in tragedies such as Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, The Challenger Mission and Three Mile Island. Not to mention countless car accidents. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 100,000 police-reported crashes are due to sleepiness, a number that is severely under-reported.
The amount of sleep you get is important
We all need a good 8 hours of sleep at night. Our sleep helps us function and keeps us well. There are a lot of ways that we are enhanced when we get a full night’s sleep. Research shows that people who aren’t sleep deprived:
- Recover from distractions faster
- Help prevent cognitive burnout
- Make better decisions
- See an improvement in memory
- Make fewer mistakes
Skipping a few hours of sleep for the sake of productivity is the last thing you want to do.
Shockingly you will end up with a 50% slower response time and lower accuracy rate on even simple tasks, than someone who is under the influence of alcohol (source).
So, please for the sake of productivity, get some sleep. Make a more detailed schedule and try to harder to stay on task throughout the day. You will see a greater improvement in productivity with proper sleep and proper time management. Want to learn how to get a better night’s sleep? Make sure to check out our latest technology that is built for sleep.