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Does your sleep interfere with your work, or support it?

For the working professional 24 hours just doesn't seem sufficient to handle all that they have on their plate. If they could get more, they would happily grab onto it.

Since the world doesn't give them the extra hours that they seek, they steal from sleep. Sleep is not complaining, at least not in the short term, so they believe they can get away and grab whatever they can from sleep.

But unknown to them, this deprivation of sleep starts taking a toll, initially quietly, and without making much of a fuss, but after a critical point it can strike quickly and harshly.

I lost a friend around 8 months ago to this condition. He did not get any advance warning though he was constantly sleep deprived, but sleep struck back and snuffed out his life even before his 40th birthday.

A perfectly healthy, successful, productive, loving and happy human being with a ton load of potential to give to the universe disappeared off the face of the earth quietly one morning when his heart stopped. He stole from sleep for many years and since there was no reprisal from sleep, he thought that sleep was a much hyped phenomenon that need not be taken so seriously and to be given a hearing only when he allowed it to happen.

He was lucky to leave without much suffering at the peak of his life. But his wife, kids, family and extended family of friends were not so lucky and are still shell-shocked without a clue on how this could happen.

Working professionals should take cognizance of the fact that sleep is their ally and not a threat to their work. What work takes 8 hours when you are tired can be done in half the time when you are fresh and energized.

Your memory, cognitive skills, decision making, creative skills, problem solving skills, emotional balance, health, immunity, energy and more are all improved when you get your full quota of sleep. Not to forget your looks. Remember beauty sleep? Yes, it's real. Sleep improves your skin tone, the shine in your eyes and general mood so your inner beauty comes through.

“It is common for managers and colleagues to look at a lack of focus or motivation, irritability, and bad decision making as being caused by poor training, organizational politics or the work environment. The answer could be much simpler – a lack of sleep.”

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In today’s globalized, hyper-connected, and “always-on” working culture, we’re often spending longer hours in the office, sometimes to the serious detriment of our sleep. Recent research at Hult International Business School, led by Professor Vicki Culpin, explores the potentially damaging effects of sleep deprivation among professionals.

Professor Culpin and her team monitored the sleep behavior of individuals in organizations of different size and sectors. Based on a survey of over 1,000 professionals at all levels, the researchers examined the impact of sleep on workplace performance. The research findings are outlined in a recent report, The Wake-up Call: The importance of sleep in organizational life.

These findings suggest that lack of sleep can fundamentally hinder managers’ ability to perform at their peak and lead to other damaging physical and emotional side effects.

Along with Professor Culpin’s findings, mounting evidence suggests that the effects of sleep deprivation are a “hidden threat” that organizations need to pay attention to if they want to ensure the well-being of their staff while also gaining a competitive edge.

So, what are the ways a sleep deficit might impact you and your work?

What would happen if you didn’t sleep?

Watch this video on youtube to know the answer

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