4 Ways Sleep Deprivation Hurts Productivity

Updated on January 17th, 2022
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It goes without saying that everyone needs sleep in order to function. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults need an average of 7 to 9 hours each night.

Unfortunately, not all of us get the proper amount of rest that our bodies need. Without adequate sleep we are shortchanging ourselves and our families. Being sleep deprived makes us irritable and short-fused making us much less pleasant.

But a lack of sleep can affect us in other ways too. For instance, sleep deprivation hurts productivity at work and could impact us financially.

1. Slows Work Speeds

One of the ways sleep deprivation hurts productivity is by slowing down work speeds. When you haven’t slept enough you won’t be as alert and may find yourself yawing or nodding off.

Needless to say, concentrating on work will be difficult under those conditions. In addition, you may find yourself repeating movements, slowing down, or rereading what you’ve already read.

These are just some of the ways sleep deprivation hurts productivity. It makes sense that bumping up your snoozing hours can have the opposite effect. Higher energy levels result which impacts your efficiency in a positive way.

2. Multiplies Errors

Another problem a lack of sleep causes is that it multiplies your errors. Obviously no one is perfect. Nevertheless, the number of errors you make while working will increase from sleep deprivation.

Correcting errors takes extra time. Repeating tasks a second time due to mistakes takes away from other work you could be doing instead. This is how those errors reduce your productivity.

There are some errors, however, that can’t be fixed. You may have heard horror stories of people in high stress jobs who have committed grievous errors from sleep deprivation.

Certainly that is something to be avoided if you work in such a job. Get plenty of rest, eat right, and exercise to reduce your errors and increase job performance.

3. Increases Illnesses and Injuries

Sleep deprivation hurts productivity in another way as well. It can increase your chances of becoming ill or having a work injury.

When your body isn’t getting enough time to rest it can’t repair itself. Furthermore, it lowers your immune system which, in turn, hinders your ability to fight off illnesses.

Lack of sleep can also make your movements clumsier and your reaction times slower. If you have the kind of job that requires precision, you might risk bodily to yourself or others.

Naturally, to fend off illnesses you need to sleep a sufficient number of hours. You should also drink plenty of water as well as engage in other healthy behaviors.

4. Hampers Decision Making

An additional way sleep deprivation hurts productivity is by hampering decision making. When you’re tired, you take greater risks because you lose your focus.

When you are running on fumes you make bad decisions.  Regrettably, that can make work projects take longer to complete. Added to that, it can cause mistakes that lower productivity and add to business costs.

It makes sense that you want to be as productive as possible when you care about your job. But you can’t trade sleep for greater productivity. Sleep deprivation hurts productivity in the end. To avoid it, get better rest and your performance will speak for itself.


This article was originally published on Calendar by Kayla Sloan.

Kayla Sloan

Kayla Sloan

Kayla is passionate about helping people get their finances in order so they can pursue a life of freedom. She quit her job to work for herself with over $148,000 of debt and swears it was the best decision she's ever made!

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